Tech Sector Job Growth Slows in September

Job growth

U.S. tech sector hiring lost momentum last month, with about 5,300 new jobs added, mirroring modest job gains throughout the economy.

That’s according to CompTIA‘s analysis of Friday’s U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) “Employment Situation” report. Through the first three quarters of 2019, tech sector hiring is up by nearly 100,000 jobs. It added more than 11,000 new jobs in August.

CompTIA's Tim Herbert

CompTIA’s Tim Herbert

“With only a single month of underwhelming data, it’s premature to hit the panic button on a tech hiring slowdown,” said Tim Herbert, CompTIA’s executive vice president for research and market intelligence. “Despite a new wave of anxiety over the economy, the labor market and international trade, a notable uptick in employer jobs postings suggests there is still significant pent up demand for tech talent.”

Positive September growth in computer and electronic products manufacturing (+3,800) and other information services, including search portals (+2,200), were countered by a flat month for hiring in technology services, custom software development and computer systems design, down by 100. It marked the first month in nearly two years – since November 2017 – that the tech services and software category lost jobs.

Tech occupations across the entire U.S. economy took a hit last month, declining by about 261,000 jobs. There tends to be a higher degree of variance and volatility with monthly BLS data at the occupation level, so these figures should be viewed with caution, according to CompTIA.

Employee job postings for core technology positions last month increased by 52,456 compared to the previous month. Software and application developers led the way with 116,300 postings, followed by IT user support specialists (30,400), systems engineers and architects (25,200), systems analysts (23,100) and web developers (21,500). Each of these categories saw an increase of 3,000 or more in job postings in September compared to August.

Janco Associates also acknowledged a slowing in IT pro hiring. CIOs are optimistic but cautious as they continue to add staff, but are starting to slow the use of outside contractors and consultants, it said.

“Based on our data, we believe that an average of 8,000 new jobs will be created in each of the remaining three months of the year,” said Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis. “With that, we forecast that 96,000 new IT jobs will have been created in the calendar year 2019. Our long-range forecast for 2020 is that an additional 100,000 new jobs will be added to the IT job market. All-in-all a good omen.”

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