PC shipments will continue to dive through the end of the year, suggests new data from research firm IDC. That decline will be a steep 8.7 percent, the research firm added. For hardware manufacturers, the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel could come in 2017, when the company expects shipments to level off and begin to increase again. It claims the commercial market will fuel that rise, although consumer shipments will continue to erode. Will the decline in PC shipments affect tech pros who work in IT support and similar areas? Probably not: For the past several years, most of those pros have dealt with (and become experts in) heterogeneous environments filled with PCs, tablets, smartphones, and even wearable electronics. Just because businesses and consumers will buy fewer PCs over the next year and a half doesn’t mean there will be a corresponding decrease in the overall number of devices to purchase, upgrade, and maintain. For those tech pros who work at PC manufacturers, however, changes have already begun. Lenovo recently announced it would lay off 3,200 people in the name of reducing expenses. Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and other firms have slashed jobs over the past year and a half in response to the industry-wide refocusing from PCs and on-premises data centers to mobile devices and cloud services. As a category, computer and electronic-product manufacturing continues to lose positions. If IDC is correct, manufacturers will see business pick up again in 2017. That might come as slight relief to those workers potentially affected by the industry-wide shifts.