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Tech Sector Job Growth Rebounds in January

Bounce Back

U.S. tech sector employment grew by about 15,800 positions last month after several lackluster months ending 2019.

That’s according to CompTIA‘s analysis of the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) “Employment Situation” report. Some 3,500 jobs were created in December.

Companies across the economy added some 370,000 core IT workers last month.

CompTIA's Tim Herbert

CompTIA’s Tim Herbert

“This month’s employment data brings tech hiring activity back in line with expectations,” said Tim Hebert, CompTIA’s executive vice president for research and market intelligence. “Employers continue to signal the need to expand their base of tech talent to meet short-and longer-term business objectives.” 

Most tech sector hiring occurred in two categories: IT services, custom software development and computer systems design, up 8,800 jobs; and data processing, hosting and related services, up 5,300 jobs.

Job gains also were recorded in other information services, which includes search engines and portals – up 1,400 – and computer and electronics product manufacturing — up 700. The addition of tech manufacturing positions occurred during a month when 12,000 manufacturing jobs were eliminated across all industries.

The rebound didn’t include telecommunications, which lost 400 jobs last month.

The number of postings for IT occupations increased by more than 52,000 in January over December. Software and app developer positions led the way with 115,100 postings. Other in-demand tech occupations include IT user support specialists, systems engineers and architects, systems analysts and IT project managers.

California, Texas, Virginia, New York and Florida were the top five states in total IT job postings last month. States recording the strongest month-over-month growth in job postings were led by Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

More than 112,000 new IT jobs were created in the last 12 months and the pace of hiring has increased significantly since the first of the year, according to Janco Associates. The growth is on target to meet Janco’s forecast of 114,000 new jobs in 2020.

“The focus now is on expanding the executive and senior management teams to drive the implementation of new technologies.” said Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis.

Many C-Level executives are concerned about recent reporting on the failure of mobile applications in last week’s Iowa caucuses, he said. They are telling CIOs that failures like that are unacceptable. That and several recent cyberattacks are the driving forces for adding experienced senior and middle management, he said.

“With the high demand for IT pros, the career opportunities outlook for IT professionals continues to be bright,” Janulaitis said. “Over the long term we feel that more individuals will look at IT concentrations at the university level.  Also, professional trade schools will be able to expand the scope of their training and certification programs. The risk that companies face will be to validate the qualifications of new entrants into the IT job market as IT pros.”

The total IT job market now is more than 3.65 million positions within the United States, according to Janco. On the downside, the number of telecommunications positions continues to erode as more of the functions are impacted by AI, as monitoring and management of telecommunications no longer requires a large staff, it said.


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