How many jobs are available in technology?

The latest CompTIA jobs report found that the unemployment rate for the tech industry jumped in August, with the majority of new job postings for emerging tech positions. Meanwhile, remote-work positions have become a permanent part of the landscape.

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July 2021

The US IT industry has seen strong job growth so far in 2021, according to revised figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as reported in the latest figures from IT employment consultancy Janco Associates.

The BLS has adjusted its figures on job growth for all of 2021, bringing the total hires to 69,000 IT staffers through June. The agency had previously reported 47,700 jobs through May, a figure now revised upward to 57,100. June saw an additional 11,900 hires, and it's possible the BLS could revise its figures again in future reports.

Janco also confirmed previously reported preliminary data on US IT salaries from its own surveys. As the jobs market remains steady in its post-COVID recovery, IT salaries have started to increase as organizations struggle to fill some positions.

That salary survey shows that IT execs in large enterprises are getting the largest salary boosts, with a median increase of 3.2%. Those in midsize enterprises are seeing median rises of 1.2%. For lower-level positions, IT pros do better at midsize enterprises than at large ones: Middle managers at large enterprises are seeing 0.6% boosts, while those at medium-sized firms are seeing 1.3% increases.

IT staffers are seeing the least improvement — an ongoing phenomemon across all company sizes, in which IT execs continue to be rewarded more. Staffers at large enterprises are realizing 0.4% gains; those at midsize enterprises are seeing 0.7% gains. 

At its worst, more than 100,000 IT jobs were lost during the depths of the pandemic in spring 2020, though two-thirds of those came back as the year progressed. Still, 2020 ended with 33,200 fewer IT jobs in the US compared to 2019. With the 69,000 estimated job gains so far in 2021, the US IT job market at the end of June is at 16,700 ahead of the 2020 peak in February — and nearly 140,000 jobs ahead of the 2020 nadir in July.

There are more than 3.6 million IT pro jobs in the US, Janco estimates.

The monthly tech jobs report released by the CompTIA industry association calculated that there were 10,500 new US tech sector jobs in June, following gains in each previous month of 2021. The US tech sector’s job numbers have now essentially matched their March 2020 peak of 4.76 million positions, according to the CompTIA data.

CompTIA calculates both technical and nontechnical positions at tech vendors, with roughly 44% being technical and 56% being nontechnical, whereas Janco looks at IT positions, including software developers, in all industries.

CompTIA’s data does show a softening of hiring, with small reductions in job postings in several roles, such as for software developers and systems analysts, as well as in several cities, including Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and San Francisco. By contrast, postings grew for positions in San Jose, Calif. The data show more variability, indicating perhaps some settling of hiring activities.

CompTIA calculated the estimated unemployment rate for the tech sector as 2.2% in June, down from 2.4% in May. The current tech unemployment rate is approaching its 2018-19 lows, where it ranged from 1.2% to 2.4%.

June 2021

As the US IT jobs market remains steady in its post-COVID recovery, salaries have started to increase as organizations struggle to fill some positions. That’s based on a survey to be releasd June 15 by IT employment consultancy Janco Associates. Janco provided Computerworld a preview of that survey.

That salary survey shows that IT executives in large enterprises are getting the largest salary boosts, with a median rise of 3.2%. IT execs in midsize enterprises are seeing median rises of 1.2%. For lower-level positions, IT pros do better at midsize enterprises than at large ones: Middle managers at large enterprises are seeing 0.6% boosts, while those at midsize enterprises are seeing 1.3% rises.

IT staffers are seeing the least improvement — an ongoing phenomemon across all company sizes, in which IT execs continue to be rewarded more — with those at large enterprises registering 0.4% gains and those at midsize enterprises seeing 0.7% gains. 

The US IT employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has been very volatile in 2021, with the agency reducing its prior-month estimates several times this year. The agency, for example, reduced its 2021 job gain count by 14,100 from earlier estimates. The BLS data shows a May rise in IT hires of 7,700, and — even with the downward BLS revisions for prior months — the net growth for US IT jobs this year stands at about 47,700, according to Janco’s analysis.

At its worst, more than 100,000 IT jobs were lost during the depths of the pandemic in spring 2020, though two-thirds of those came back as the year progressed. Still, 2020 ended with 33,200 fewer IT jobs in the US compared to 2019. With the 47,700 estimated job gains so far in 2021, the US IT job market at the end of May is at 13,500 more than the 2020 peak in February — and nearly 150,000 ahead of the 2020 nadir in July.

There are more than 3.6 million IT pro jobs in the US, Janco estimates.

The monthly tech jobs report released by the CompTIA industry association calculated that there were 10,500 new US tech sector jobs in May, following gains in each previous month of 2021. CompTIA calculates both technical and nontechnical positions at tech vendors, with roughly 44% being technical and 56% being nontechnical, whereas Janco looks at IT positions, including software developers, in all industries.

Still, the US tech sector’s job numbers have not yet matched their March 2020 peak of 4.76 million positions. As of last month, there were 4.74 million, a number that continues to grow.

CompTIA’s unemploment rate estimate for the tech sector stood at 2.4% in May, within its range over the last few months — versus 5.8% in May for the national rate for all industries. For previous months, CompTIA calculated a 2.5% tech unemployment rate in April, 1.9% in March, and 2.4% in February. The rise in the overall tech unemployment rate may reflect a loss of sales jobs in the tech sector, even as technologist jobs grew.

CompTIA also saw the number of tech-related job listings jump in May, to about 365,000 versus the 307,000 estimated for April. Job postings have grown by about 158,000 so far in 2021.

Software developers constituted the largest pool of listed openings at 112,200, with listings for IT support specialists coming in second at 28,200 and for system engineers and architects third at 27,200 — all represent significant increases from May.

The top sector for tech job postings in May was manufacturing, which had 70,970 positions open. Professional and technical services followed at 58,783, then finance and insurance at 31,054, and information services at 20,244.

The Washington, D.C. metro area had the most job postings, 21,611, followed by the New York metro area with 20,481; the Dallas metro area with 14,796; the Los Angeles metro area at 12,825; and the Atlanta metro area at 12,825. The San Francisco metro came in sixth at 11,918, just 117 more postings than in April. And the adjacent San Jose metro came in ninth at 8,746.

The Chicago metro had the greatest decline in postings, with 10,526 postings — down 1,025 from April. On the West Coast, slight declines in job postings were recorded in the Los Angeles area (205 fewer), the Seattle area (51 fewer, for 80,080 in May), and the San Jose metro area (466 fewer, wiping out the 117 gain in the adjacent San Francisco metro).

May 2021

Nearly all the US IT jobs lost in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic have come back, with IT employment enjoying eight straight months of growth. Of course, some of the replacement jobs were in IT specialties other than the jobs lost, as there has been a steady trend of declining data center and telecommunications positions in favor of software development jobs; that was true, even before the pandemic.

At its worst, more than 100,000 IT jobs were lost during the depths of the pandemic in spring 2020, though two-thirds of those came back as the year progressed. Still, 2020 ended with 33,200 fewer IT jobs in the US compared to 2019.

So far in 2021, 30,400 IT jobs have been added, nearly erasing the 2020 net losses.

And IT jobs in 2021 are set to continue to grow, according to the latest figures from IT employment consultancy Janco Associates. It expects another 70,000 IT jobs to be available this year. Janco’s numbers come from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monthly reports.

When adjusted for seasonality, March saw 6,500 new IT jobs, February saw 9,400, and January saw 14,400. The January and February numbers were revised up significantly from BLS’s original estimate of 8,500 and 6,000, respectively.

The Janco figures jibe with a report released by the CompTIA industry association. It calculated that there were 9,700 new US tech sector jobs in March, following a gain of 7,700 in February and 19,500 in January. CompTIA calculates both technical and nontechnical positions at tech vendors, whereas Janco looks at IT positions, including software developers, in all industries.

Using a much broader definition of IT, including sales positions, CompTIA estimated that 50,000 IT-related jobs were added in March across all industries, following a 178,000-job gain in in February and a 78,000-job gain in January. That reflects an unemployment rate of 1.9%, down from 2.4% in February 2021 and the lowest rate since August 2019.

Nationally, for all jobs, the US unemployment rate fell from 6.2% in February to 6.1% in March, according to the BLS. But the national unemployment rate is closer to 9% if those who have given up looking are included, estimates Oxford Economics; the BLS reports the level of these discouraged workers has remained steady.

CompTIA also saw the number of IT-related job listings grow by about 30,000 in March, passing 307,000. That follows a rise of 44,300 listings in February and 26,000 in January.

Software developers constituted the largest pool of listed openings at 93,000, with listings for IT support specialists coming in second at 25,800 and for system engineeris and architects third at 23,200.

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