Flat Employment Gives Rise to MSP Prospects

The Bureau of Labor Statistics last week released the May unemployment figures, and they were pretty mediocre. Nonfarm payroll employment changed little (a net total of 54,000 jobs added) in May, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 9.1%. Private sector employment continued to trend up (83,000 net jobs added), although by a much smaller amount than the monthly 244,000-job average for the prior three months. The computer systems design and related services subsector added 8,000 net jobs for the month. For most people, these statistics are not especially heartening. However, for MSPs, especially those serving the SMB market, they should offer some comfort. Here's why.

After all, one of the main reasons companies retain the services of MSPs is that they cannot afford to hire enough IT staff to adequately support their technology infrastructures. And 8,000 computer-related jobs added throughout the country during a one-month period is not exactly a major trend.

In addition, companies that cannot afford to add personnel also likely cannot afford significant new IT investments, meaning that obtaining technology solutions as a hosted online service from an MSP, rather than buying them outright and installing them in-house, becomes an attractive alternative.

SMBs Struggle Even in Good Times

In terms of the SMB market, let’s face it: even during good economic times, SMBs still struggle with issues like staffing and infrastructure in comparison to their larger peers. And during times like these when their larger peers are having issues with overhead, SMBs are definitely looking for an affordable way to keep their IT environments up-to-date and running smoothly.

High Unemployment Offers MSPs Chance to Help Clients

Certainly, high unemployment causes a myriad of economic and social problems that affect everyone, MSPs included. There are probably MSPs out there who could use more staff, but simply can’t afford to take them on in the current climate. Nobody is suggesting MSPs start openly gloating about the current job market.

But the fact remains there is a potentially large upside to the unemployment picture for MSPs, particularly where SMB clients are involved. By helping businesses overcome challenges caused by the inability to add IT staff, MSPs are doing them a favor and helping them get by until things get better. Taking advantage of upside when it appears is what business is all about, and helping your clients in the process is the best kind of business there is.

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