Bottom Falls Out of IT Job Market

The latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics paint a grim picture for the IT job market, enough for one management consulting firm to say that the bottom has fallen out.

Only 77,600 IT jobs have been added in the U.S. in the past 12 months. There are a number of reasons why that number is so low and why IT execs are on a hiring lockdown.

Based on recent interviews of 84 CIOs in the last two weeks, we see that CIOs have become more cautious,” said Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis. “A number of factors are driving this in addition to the current state of the recovery. They are the January 1 sequester spending cuts, issues associated with the new health-care law, and the uncertainty caused by both of these uncontrollable events. Over two-thirds of the CIOs interviewed say that the network infrastructure which many have not been able to update because of budget limitations they have in place is making it more difficult to implement new technologies without significantly increase costs. They all need larger budgets and staff to deal with this but are reluctant to hire new employees.”

The number of IT jobs added in October was 5,200, but that might wind up being inflated. The original number reported for September was 2,500, but that has since been adjusted down, to a loss of 3,600 jobs. Put those numbers together and you get a net gain of only 1,600 jobs over the past two months.

The Affordable Care Act rollout might be somewhat of a disaster, but the health-care job market continues to be a bright spot for IT professionals. The implementation of electronic patient records is driving new opportunities.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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