Economy is great if you're silicon; not so good if you're looking for a job

'Jobless' continues to be the strongest part of 'jobless recovery'

According to a series of new reports on the sale of bits of electronica, the global economy, especially the U.S. part, appears to be doing well.

The market in jobs for the people whose profligate spending on things like bread, milk and precious, precious gas, on the other hand...well, we won't know until later today when the Bureau of Labor Statistics issues its most recent monthly report on how few new jobs can be created without everyone saying we're back in a recession.

Gartner is projecting that the worldwide market for operating systems grew 7.8 percent in 2010, to a total of 20.4 billion.

After shrinking in 2008 and 2009, the market for IT services bounced back in 2010, Gartner reported. Money spent on IT services rose 3.1 percent, which is more impressive than it looks because it dropped 5.1 percent in 2009, making the total increase more than 8 percent.

Despite our living in the post-PC era, PC microprocessor sales went up 7.4 percent during the first quarter of this year and may grow 10.3 percent compared to last year, IDC reports.

The worldwide market for all types of semiconductors – as you'd expect from the continual increase in digitized things that claim not to be PCs – rose much faster than the PC microprocessors.

Revenue from sale of the tiny drivers of digital addictions went up 24 percent compared to 2010.

Apple's silicon did a lot better; driven by the A4 chips in iPods and iPads, Apple's semiconductor revenue jumped more than 130 percent during 2010.

The broad trend is a migration toward Smart System on a Chip (SSoC), which pack into single chipsets not only a processor, but add-on components to enhance the ability of smartphones, tablets and robotic devices to process visual cues, manage wireless bandwidth, and kill all humans.

Meanwhile the Dow fell 139 points following the report from paycheck-processing company ADP that private companies created only 179,000 jobs in April – fewer than any month since November.

The U.S. services market grew at its slowest pace since August. The Institute for Supply Management, which tracks the sector, rates it according to a 100-point scale. Anything above a 50 means growth; April's number was 52.8. In March it was 57.3.

Layoff-monitoring outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas did report there were 12 percent fewer layoffs in April than April, 2010, though it's possible there are simply fewer people available to lay off.

Later today the BLS will issue its employment report; analysts expect the number of new jobs to be 183,000.

We may hit that only if Apple agrees to give away an A4 with ever new job created.

Here's hoping...

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