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Industries at a Glance
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Telecommunications: NAICS 517

About the Telecommunications subsector

The telecommunications subsector is part of the information sector.

Industries in the Telecommunications subsector group establishments that provide telecommunications and the services related to that activity (e.g., telephony, including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP); cable and satellite television distribution services; Internet access; telecommunications reselling services). The Telecommunications subsector is primarily engaged in operating, and/or providing access to facilities for the transmission of voice, data, text, sound, and video. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology or a combination of technologies.

North American Industry Classification System

The telecommunications subsector consists of these industry groups:

  • Wired Telecommunications Carriers: NAICS 5171
  • Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite): NAICS 5172
  • Telecommunications Resellers: NAICS 5173
  • Satellite Telecommunications: NAICS 5174
  • Cable and Other Program Distribution: NAICS 5175
  • Other Telecommunications: NAICS 5179

Workforce Statistics

This section provides information relating to employment and unemployment in telecommunications. While most data are obtained from employer or establishment surveys, information on industry unemployment comes from a national survey of households. The following tables present an overview of the industry including the number of jobs, the unemployment rate of those previously employed in the industry, union membership and representation, data for occupations common to the industry, and projections of occupational employment change.

Employment and Unemployment

Data series Back
data
Jun.
2019
Jul.
2019
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019

Employment (in thousands)

Employment, all employees (seasonally adjusted)

716.8 711.6 (p)712.5 (p)711.4

Employment, production and nonsupervisory employees

593.8 589.6 (p)590.0  

Unemployment

Unemployment rate

0.8% 2.3% 2.2% 3.3%

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics, Current Population Survey

Union Membership and Representation

Data series Back
data
2015 2016 2017 2018

Union membership and representation

Members of unions (percent of wage and salary workers)

13.3% 14.6% 16.1% 15.4%

Represented by unions (percent of wage and salary workers)

14.8% 15.8% 17.0% 16.2%

(Source: Current Population Survey)

Employment by Occupation

Data series Employment,
2018

Customer service representatives

70,760

Electronics engineers, except computer

24,040

First-line supervisors/managers of office and administrative support workers

10,040

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers

158,750

Telecommunications line installers and repairers

67,640

Telephone operators

1,460

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Projections

For projected (future) employment estimates, see the National Employment Matrix, which includes employment estimates by industry and occupation for telecommunications.

(Source: Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections)

Earnings and Hours

This section presents data on employee earnings and weekly hours. The latest industry averages of hourly earnings and weekly hours, as well as weekly earnings by union membership status, are shown. In addition, recent hourly and annual earnings are shown for occupations commonly found in telecommunications.

Earnings and Hours of All Employees

Data series Back
data
May
2019
Jun.
2019
Jul.
2019
Aug.
2019

Average hourly earnings

$38.16 $38.83 $39.17 (p)$39.06

Average weekly hours

37.1 37.5 36.4 (p)36.4

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Earnings and Hours of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees

Data series Back
data
May
2019
Jun.
2019
Jul.
2019
Aug.
2019

Average hourly earnings

$31.49 $32.00 $31.59 (p)$31.50

Average weekly hours

37.9 38.9 37.9 (p)38.0

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Union Membership and Representation

Data series Back
data
Median weekly earnings
2015 2016 2017 2018

Union membership and representation

Full-time workers

$1,162 $1,182 $1,197 $1,170

Members of unions

$1,212 $1,273 $1,195 $1,331

Represented by unions

$1,208 $1,306 $1,201 $1,325

Nonunion

$1,148 $1,153 $1,195 $1,150

(Source: Current Population Survey)

Earnings by Occupation

Data series Wages, 2018
Hourly Annual
Median Mean Median Mean

Customer service representatives

18.30 20.72 38,070 43,090

Electronics engineers, except computer

45.79 47.71 95,250 99,230

First-line supervisors/managers of office and administrative support workers

31.40 33.59 65,300 69,870

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers

27.98 28.30 58,200 58,860

Telecommunications line installers and repairers

33.67 31.79 70,040 66,130

Telephone operators

24.97 22.70 51,940 47,220

(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Work-related Fatalities, Injuries, and Illnesses

This section presents data for the industry on the number of workplace fatalities and the rates of workplace injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time workers in telecommunications. An injury or illness is considered to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing condition.

Data series 2014 2015 2016 2017

Fatalities

Number of fatalities

12 16 22 20

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

Data series 2017

Rate of injury and illness cases per 100 full-time workers

Total recordable cases

2.4

Cases involving days away from work, job restriction, or transfer

1.7

Cases involving days away from work

1.3

Cases involving days of job transfer or restriction

0.4

Blank cells indicate no data reported or data that do not meet publication criteria.

(Source: Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities)

Prices

This section provides industry-specific pricing information. The producer price index measures the percentage change in prices that domestic producers receive for goods and services. The prices included in the producer price index are from the first commercial transaction.

Data series Back
data
Jun.
2019
Jul.
2019
Aug.
2019
Sep.
2019

Producer price index

(p)99.2 (p)98.8 (p)99.4 (p)100.4

Percent change from previous month

  (p)-0.9% (p)-0.4% (p)0.6% (p)1.0%

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Producer Price Indexes)

Workplace Trends

This section presents data on the number of establishments in telecommunications.

Establishments

Data series Back
data
2nd quarter
2018
3rd quarter
2018
4th quarter
2018
1st quarter
2019

Number of establishments

Private industry

34,688 34,682 34,619 (p)34,850

Local government

52 52 52 (p)52

State government

7 7 7 (p)7

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

(Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages)

 

Data extracted on: October 11, 2019