Report: IT employment improves in January

IT job losses driven by COVID-19 stabilized as hiring trends rebounded.

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More than 18,000 new IT jobs sprang up in January as the overall outlook for tech hiring substantially improved over the past several months, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and research firm Janco Associates.

Between that new hiring and adjustments made to the job market totals in the latest BLS numbers, the IT sector has now recouped 53,600 of the roughly 100,000 jobs it lost due to the COVID-19 crisis, according to Janco principal M. Victor Janulaitis.

What’s more, the upward trajectory seems likely to continue, as the changing IT jobs market grows and changes, according to his projections. “IT job-market growth will expand by almost 11% in the post-COVID era,” he said. “Most of the growth in the IT job market will be with software developers, quality assurance, and testers. This will be driven by [work from home] as it is embraced by more enterprises in normal operations and internet-centric applications are developed and deployed.”

According to the Janco analysis, 316,000 new QA and tester jobs can be expected over the course of the coming decade, a 17.7% increase. Positions for security analysts will grow at an even faster rate, but add fewer total jobs, up 40,900 for a 23.8% rise.

It’s the first time in about a year that there’s been good news about the job market for IT professionals, which suffered an unusually severe decline as a result of the pandemic. Salaries have mostly remained flat or even dropped slightlyduring that period, but that trend, too, seems to be reversing itself, as Janco’s projections predict slight increases for executives and staff alike over the course of the coming year.

Left out, however, might be middle management at both large enterprises and SMBs; Janulaitis’ model predicts a slight salary decrease in the category. Large-enterprise middle managers, on average, could see their pay drop by about 0.08%, to a mean of $95,920, while the same personnel at smaller companies could see a decrease of 0.07%, to an average of $91,414.

“We believe, with the increase in government spending and the desire to rapidly get back to normal operations, the total IT job market will begin to expand rapidly in the second quarter as more businesses open and get back to normal operations,” Janulaitis said.

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