US IT job growth jumps in August; 2021 on track for record hiring levels

Businesses would have hired even more IT workers — especially developers, cybersecurity staffers, and compliance experts — had they been able to find enough qualified candidates.

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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.

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