The latest data from the monthly U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Situation report confirms a recovery that remains uneven and unpredictable. Mirroring this pattern, the #JobsReport shows a mix of good news in IT sector employment gains and disappointing news in IT occupation job losses, according to analysis by CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the global technology industry and workforce.
The tech sector recorded its second consecutive month of employment growth, adding an estimated 12,900 net new workers in both technical and non-technical positions. The IT services and custom software development category led the way in job gains, with positive growth also coming in tech manufacturing and the information services category.
The industry’s employment growth was countered by an unexpected loss of 324,000 tech occupation jobs, which span all industry sectors across the economy. As always, caution should be taken with monthly BLS occupation reporting due to the possibility of data volatility.
“The latest jobs report confirms progress on some fronts, but also serves as a reality check,” said Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. “As the crisis continues to ripple through the economy, businesses must balance shorter-term concerns with longer-term strategic tech spending and tech talent needs.”
Overall, the U.S. economy added 661,000 jobs in September, a smaller number than in recent months. The national unemployment rate inched lower to 7.9%. For IT occupations, the unemployment rate stands at 3.5%.
The other key measure of hiring activity – employer job postings, also experienced a down month. Nationally, total job postings across the economy fell be more than 260,000, indicating less employer recruiting activity. Job postings for IT occupations were slightly lower on the month, falling by 11,372 postings, but still totaled more than 200,000. The most in demand occupations included software and application developers (65,400 job postings), IT support specialists (19,700) and systems engineers and architects (17,200).
The job posting data also confirms the systematic shift to remote work. Year-to-date job postings for IT occupations that specify remote work or work from home (WFH) increased 58% vs. the same period in 2019.
The impact of emerging tech is also reflected in the job posting data. Postings with an emerging tech occupation or skills component account for 25% of all IT occupation openings so far this year, compared to 22% for the same period last year.
Among specific industries, professional, scientific and technical services (39,014), finance and insurance (19,363), manufacturing (14,851) and information (11,616) had the most IT job postings last month.
Massachusetts, Indiana, Georgia, Iowa and Arkansas had the largest month over month gains in IT job postings among the states. At the metro level Washington D.C., San Antonio, Trenton, Los Angeles, Baltimore and Indianapolis had the highest month-over-month growth, though in all instances the gains were modest.
The CompTIA IT Employment Tracker for October is available at https://www.slideshare.net/comptia/comptia-it-employment-tracker-october-2020.