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U.S. Jobs: Slow Growth Overall, IT Employment On the Rise

There are signs of improving IT sector employment from the most recent jobs report issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The uptick is modest, but the new norm of slow economic growth is continuing.

Out of town on a family visit last week, I’m just now catching up with the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs numbers for June 2017. While those numbers show an overall employment picture that isn’t much changed from the previous month, jobs added numbers are more encouraging.


Better yet, the CompTIA Employment Tracker for July 2017 shows some especially nice trends emerging in our home sector of Information Technology (IT).


Some Good News from IT Sector Employment!


The chart included with this blog post comes from that CompTIA report, and shows the overall employment situation for the IT sector:


Ed T 7 14 2017 Figure 1

Source: CompTIA IT Employment Tracker July 2017


Of the various subsectors that CompTIA tracks within IT, 4 of 5 were up in June 2017 — computer, electronics and semiconductor manufacturing; data processing, hosting and related services; other information services, including search portals; and IT and software services plus computer systems design.


The only down subsector in IT for June was telecommunications, down by 700 jobs for the month and, according to CompTIA’s June jobs numbers press release, down nearly 44,000 jobs for the year (43,800, to be more precise).


That same press release includes the following observations that buttress the notion that IT trends are moving mostly upward:


● IT sector employment has increased by almost 62,000 jobs during the first half of 2017.
● Employment in IT services and custom software has led the way forward, adding 99,000 jobs during this six-month period.


The CompTIA VP of Research and Market intelligence commented that, “In the dynamic tech sector, it’s not uncommon for companies to be in hiring mode, while also shedding workers. Tech companies pursuing new opportunities in cloud, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, or big data, for example, may shift resources to these areas, while scaling back in legacy product lines.”


IT occupations in industries outside the Information sector (those that provide IT support to companies and organizations not directly engaged in IT business, per se) showed a gain of 117,000 jobs for June, which reversed the 107,000 decline reported in May 2017. Nevertheless, CompTIA reports that “on the year, net IT occupation jobs remain in negative territory.”


Thus, while not all the employment news from the IT labor market is positive, overall modest growth and an increase in IT sector hiring continues unabated for 2017 so far.