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Headcount Update

Phil Harvey
8/7/2006

4:45 PM -- In the last Headcount column, I put forth that one of the byproducts of convergence and consolidation is phone companies are able to reduce the number of union employees, pay lower salaries for new hires, and cut their overall payroll, like never before.

And a recent study by the Institute for Women's Policy Research adds a bit of kindling to that fire, by pointing out that the non-management types in the Wired Telecommunications sector (the phone companies) -- are currently among the highest paid in the media industry overall. In other words, they're the ones really in the crosshairs of convergence -- the ones most likely to get cut:

Wired Telecommunications provides the highest median weekly earnings for nonsupervisory workers among all the industries examined in this report, at $750 per week for full-time workers, or $39,000 per year—almost 50 percent higher than median earnings for all other U.S. industries ($520 a week, or $27,040 annually). In contrast, average weekly earnings in the Wireless industry are $638. Workers in Radio/TV/Cable earn less, with median weekly earnings of $598. Pay in Motion Pictures and Newspapers is lower, and closer to the average for all workers outside the Communications and Media Sector ($542 and $505, respectively).

The report, "Making the Right Call: Jobs and Diversity in the Communications and Media Sector" was funded, in part, by BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS).

— Phil Harvey, State of the Union Editor, Light Reading

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