IT Employment Strong in December, Momentum to Continue Through 2017

Edward GatelyU.S. IT sector employment ended 2016 on an optimistic note with 5,100 new positions last month, according to CompTIA’s latest IT Employment Tracker.

Software and services led December job growth among technology categories, adding 4,100 new positions.

“During 2016, IT services added an estimated 79,300 jobs, making it the primary driver of job growth in the sector,” said Tim Herbert, CompTIA’s senior vice president for research and market intelligence.

Employment in other information services, including search portals, expanded by 2,400 positions last month, according to CompTIA’s analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Employment Situation report released Friday. Data processing, hosting and related services added 1,600 jobs.

Telecommunications shed 2,100 jobs last month. For the year, telecom employment fell by 24,100 positions.

Computer and electronics products manufacturing employment also fell in December, down 900 jobs from the previous month.

The second component of the nation’s IT workforce – IT occupations across all other industries – had another strong showing in December, with an estimated net gain of 154,000 jobs.

“During the fourth quarter of 2016, a net 337,000 IT jobs were added to the economy, a strong finish to the year,” Herbert said.{ad}

Also Friday, Janco Associates forecasts that, on average, about 6,500 new IT jobs will be created each month in 2017 resulting in 136,500 new domestic IT jobs. In 2016, the IT job market grew by 71,900, according to BLS.

In addition, IT salaries on a year-to-year comparison have risen 5.2 percent. The median salary (for the positions surveyed) has increased from $82,775 to $87,072, according to Janco’s 2017 IT Salary Survey of more than 127 CIOs.

“The recent election has created a positive outlook for job growth in general and information technology in particular,” said Victor Janulaitis, Janco’s CEO. “If as the new administration says, jobs will be brought back to the United States, a revamped H-1B visa program implemented, tax system improved, and infrastructure spending increased, that should result in a significantly improved economic picture. With the stimulus and constraints proposed by the new administration, there will be greater need for …


… U.S.-based IT resources. IT hiring will be up.”

CIOs interviewed after the election and post-election processes are optimistic that there will be more incentives for increased IT spending and hiring, Janulaitis said. Those interviewed earlier were not as optimistic, he said.

“SMBs are actively looking for experienced managers who will be able to manage the increased technology initiatives that they feel will be stated in the next two quarters,” he said.

This year, the middle management of SMB’s IT organizations is where there will be the most demand for IT professionals as those companies gear up their internal U.S.-based IT organizations, according to Janco.

Compensation for all IT professionals will increase by 5.2 percent in 2017. The biggest increases have been at the middle manager levels in midsize companies with an increase of almost 6.5 percent — most of which can be attributed to performance bonuses from hiring significantly more qualified individuals.

Positions in highest demand all are associated with security, training, large data-center management, distributed/mobile system project management, quality control, BYOD implementation, capacity planning and service-level improvement, according to Janco.

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