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U.S. Employment: Mostly Slow Growth Despite Hurricanes

The ill winds of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria blew good to no man (or woman) last month, but damage to the U.S. economy was mitigated by a mostly stable employment outlook.

Hurricane seen from spaceFor the first time in over seven years, overall employment took a small step backward in September, according to the latest Employment Situation Summary from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite this mis-step, CompTIA reported that IT employment bucked the trend and shows a modest increase in September.


Overall, however, most major indices stood pat, or improved slightly, as unemployment dropped to 4.2 percent and the employment population ratio increased to 60.4 percent. The U.S. BLS explains the September dip as a function of the impacts of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, both of which slammed into U.S. Caribbean territories and the U.S. mainland in September:


“Our analysis suggests that the net effect of these hurricanes was to reduce the estimate of total nonfarm payroll employment for September.”


The CompTIA IT Employment Tracker for September 2017, shows IT employment occupation at a recent high of just under 4.9 million, and IT Sector employment at 4.445 million, for a total of over 9.3 million IT jobs across all employment sectors.


Their analysis also shows 3,200 IT jobs added for last month, bucking the slight dip in overall employment. Winning IT sectors for September included IT and software services/computer systems design (+4,200 jobs); computer, electronics and semiconductor manufacturing (+3,000 jobs), and data processing, hosting, and related jobs (+300 jobs).


Losing IT sectors included telecommunications (-1,900 jobs) and other information services, including search portals (-2,400 jobs). The highest-demand IT jobs, as measured by IT occupation job postings, include software developers, computer systems engineers and architects, computer systems analysts, computer user support specialists, and Web developers.