US IT job growth slows, but 2021 still on track for record hiring

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

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Page 5
Page 5 of 16

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).

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Page 5
Page 5 of 16
7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon