Re: Tech writing makes the front page

Subject: Re: Tech writing makes the front page
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "Brautigam, Curtis" <cubrautiga -at- state -dot- pa -dot- us>
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 08:15:50 -0400

Brautigam, Curtis wrote:

I wonder where they get the figure of 129 technical writers in Maine.
Chaim (or Curtis, or whatever),

As a statistician, you should appreciate the answer I sent off-list to John Posada yesterday:

Simple, John. The Maine Labor Department sent a questionnaire out to 258 companies. Two completed the questionnaire and returned it. One of them employs a tech writer. They expect the Portland economy to sustain an overall growth of 8 companies in the next ten years (gains minus losses); ergo, there will be 133 tech writers needed then. Ain't statistics wunnerful!

(Yes, that is a joke. No, I do not have any direct knowledge of the method used by the Maine Labor Department.)

only thing that I do know is that the technical writing job market around
the United States is still depressed. It was depressed a little more than
one year ago when I was out of work, and it still depressed today. I think
the only area where technical writing jobs are plentiful are those related
to defense and homeland security, and virtually all of these jobs require
security clearances. Another potential sources for technical writing jobs
are biotechnology and the health care industry.

Chaim Brautigam
Descriptive Statistician 1
Center for Workforce Information
PA Department of Labor and Industry
cubrauti -at- state -dot- pa -dot- us

With regard to the overall prospect for jobs, here's a data point: at least in Eastern Massachusetts, commercial printers are so busy that I'm having trouble finding someone to do a run of business cards. Printers' being busy is, in my book, a reliable leading indicator. So I think things are looking up. YMMV.


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