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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April 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.

March 2021

As the overall US economy showed continued glimpses of recovery in February, the IT job market continued the rebound that began in the fall, though at a slower pace than in January.

Growth last month was 13,700, according to the latest figures from IT employment consultancy Janco Associates. January saw 8,600 new IT jobs. When adjusted for seasonality, February saw 6,000 new IT jobs, and January saw 10,900, down dramatically from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS') original estimate of 18,200.

Still, the overall trend for IT — whose US jobs number 3.6 million — remains on an upward trajectory.

The Janco figures jibe with a report released by the CompTIA industry association. It calculated that there were 7,700 new US tech sector jobs in February, following a gain of 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 178,000 IT-related jobs were added in February across all industries, following a 78,000-job gain in January. That reflects an unemployment rate of 2.4%, down from 3.0% in December 2020.

Nationally, for all jobs, the US unemployment rate fell from an adjusted 6.3% in January to 6.2% in February, 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 44,300 in February, passing 277,000. That follows a rise of 26,000 listings in January. Software developers constituted the largest pool of listed openings at 88,000, with listings for systems engineers and architects coming in second at 22,700. But Janco CEO M. Victor Janulaitis expects that over the next several years, coders will find jobs scarcer as low-code development gains traction, even as demand for software developers overall increases.

February 2021

Even as the overall US economy struggled in January — adding just 6,000 private sector jobs and 49,000 jobs overall — the seasonally adjusted IT job growth last month was 18,200, according to the latest figures from IT employment consultancy Janco Associates. The past two months saw 55,000 new IT jobs, revised up from the 18,000 total reported a month earlier, based on revisions from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Still, compared to January 2020, US IT jobs have decreased by 35,800, a loss of about 1%. Last spring, more than 100,000 IT jobs were lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic, representing about 3% of the IT workforce.

The Janco figures jibe with a report released by the CompTIA industry association. It calculated that there were 19,500 new US tech sector jobs 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 78,000 IT-related jobs were added in January across all industry sectors. That reflects an unemployment rate of 2.4%, down from 3.0% in December 2020. Nationally, for all jobs, the US unemployment rate fell to 6.3% from 6.7%. But the national unemployment rate is closer to 9% if those who have given up looking are included, estimates Oxford Economics.

CompTIA also saw the number of IT-related job listings grow by about 26,000 in January, passing 232,000.

Over the coming decade, Janco CEO M. Victor Janulaitis expects 11% growth in US IT jobs. “Most of the growth in the IT job market will be with software developers, quality assurance, and testers," he said in a statement. "This will be driven by [work from home] as it is will be embraced by more enterprises in normal operations and internet-centric applications are developed and deployed.

"The projected growth for that sector alone will be almost 18%,” he said. 

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