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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October 2020

Although the  IT and telecommunications job market in the US is still expected to shrink by 64,000 jobs this year compared to 2019, the recovery of IT jobs lost during the early days of the pandemic continued for a second month. The most recent survey of IT executives by management consultancy Janco Associates shows that about 12,200 IT jobs were added in September following a net gain of 6,900 in August. 

At the outset of the pandemic, more than 105,000 US IT jobs were lost as companies retrenched in the face of COVID-19, more than erasing the 90,200 jobs added in all of 2019. Those losses have been partially addressed since through rehiring and new hires. As a result, over the last nine months, IT jobs were down by 85,000.

However, Janco doesn’t forecast a recovery in the IT job marked until spring 2021, as the US economy suffers new waves of infections that slow or even reverse prior gains. In October, an additional wave of IT layoffs is expected as airlines furlough tens of thousands of workers now that federal job subsidies have ended for that industry.

Companies are leery about expanding during uncertainties around government action, particularly the stalled stimulus efforts, said Janco president Victor Janulaitis. The November presidential election is another cause for companies to wait and see. “Spending for IT products and services has all but stopped as companies reevaluate the state of the economy globally as new waves of selected shutdowns occur,” he said.

September 2020

By Ken Mingis, Executive Editor, Computerworld

Although the U.S. IT and telecommunications job market is still expected to shrink by 64,000 jobs in 2020 versus 2019, the worst may be over – and about a third of the IT jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to have come back by 2021. That’s according to the most recent survey of IT executives by management consultancy Janco Associates.

For the first time in six months, August saw a net gain in the number of IT jobs: up 6,900. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also revised the number of IT jobs lost in July, showing 4,400 fewer jobs were lost than originally reported. Still, over the last 12 months, IT jobs fell by 81,800, nearly erasing the 90,200 jobs gained in 2019.

“IT hiring will remain soft but improving slightly. …Major many companies are resuming existing operations slowly, but are holding back on any expansion until after the [Nov. 3] election,” said Janco’s latest report.

But some sectors will continue to lose jobs, it noted, including the airline industry, which is poised to lay off tens of thousands of employees across all roles, not just IT, as federal COVID-related subsidies end on Sept. 30. Cities such as Portland, Ore. that have seen ongoing civil unrest due to protests over police killings of Black citizens will also see deferred hiring until the unrest subsides, Janco said.

IT organizations remain cautious on spending, with very few new initiatives or expansions of current efforts being funded beyond the initial rampup in work-from-home and social-distancing technology investments at the start of the crisis.

August 2020

Coronavirus spikes in parts of the U.S. in July have worsened hiring conditions for IT professionals, and management consulting firm Janco Associates now doesn’t expect any rebound in hiring until late this year or early in 2021.

Janco now estimates that just 25,000 new IT jobs will be created in 2020; there are now more than 163,000 fewer tech jobs than a year ago. In July alone, another 10,900 IT positions disappeared, the company said.

“We have found that a number of companies have already shuttered their doors or are expanding layoffs that impact the IT job market,” Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis said in a statement. “This includes oil and gas drillers like Whiting Petroleum and Diamond Offshore, retailers like J Crew, manufacturers like Briggs & Stratton, and grocers like Dean and DeLuca. As a result, IT professionals working for those companies are looking for new employment opportunities.

“Until after the election..., when the public feels [it] can go back to a normal life [and]  more companies open their doors, hiring for new positions in IT will be limited at best,” he said. “In addition, the continued civil unrest is slowing confidence by the public, which in turn, hinders corporate confidence.”

He noted the stalemate in Washington, D.C. over new efforts to prop up the U.S. economy, as several states deal with increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases.

“Spending for IT products and services has all but stopped as companies reevaluate the state of the economy globally as new waves of selected shutdowns occur,” Janulaitis said. “With more companies adopting [work from home] to address ‘social distancing’ and avoid in-office contacts, fewer companies are taking an aggressive approach to any additional spending for IT products and services. It does not help that the U.S. Congress and the president are at a stalemate on pandemic relief.”

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