• United States

IT employment takes a hit but overall remains healthy

News Analysis
Aug 13, 20202 mins

July saw a loss of 134,000 IT jobs, but net IT employment is still up by more than 203,000 positions since the outbreak of COVID-19.

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Credit: Boris Rabtsevich / Getty Images

The tech sector is beginning to feel some of the negative hiring impact of the prolonged COVID-19 shutdown, but the overall job field remains a lot healthier than other sectors. That’s according to CompTIA’s review of the newest Employment Situation Summary from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The BLS report covers all sectors, but CompTIA focused on two areas: technology sector employment, which relates to jobs in the tech industry as a whole (people employed by Google, Microsoft, Dell, etc.) and includes both technical and non-technical roles; and IT employment, which covers IT jobs across all sectors of the economy (travel, retail, health care, etc.).

Up until July, tech sector employment had increased by almost 200,000 jobs this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The nation’s technology sector trimmed an estimated 17,300 positions in both technical and non-technical roles last month. That marks the second month of decline. In June, the tech sector shed 33,800 jobs.

IT occupations in all sectors of the economy declined by an estimated 134,000 jobs, according to CompTIA’s analysis.

Even with the July job losses, net IT employment is up by more than 203,000 positions since the outbreak of COVID-19. The unemployment rate for IT occupations is 4.4%, compared to the national unemployment rate of 10.2%.

“After several months of tech job gains exceeding expectations in a very difficult economic environment, a pause in tech hiring was not unexpected,” said Tim Herbert, CompTIA’s executive vice president for research and market intelligence, in a statement.

That said, there were still more than 235,000 open IT positions for the month of July. The top five job roles companies were looking to fill were:

  • Software and application developers (70,600 job postings)
  • IT support specialists (21,400)
  • Systems engineers and architects (19,100)
  • Systems analysts (15,600)
  • IT project managers (13,300)

It should be noted that across these five groups, there was a collective decline in open positions from June totaling 20,300.

The states of California, Texas, Virginia, New York and North Carolina had the highest numbers of IT job postings last month, although all but New York had a reduction in job openings from June. Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia, Maine and North Dakota recorded the highest month-over-month increase in job postings, although the gains were modest.

Among specific industries, the professional, scientific and technical services industry had the highest numbers of postings for IT positions (39,956), followed by finance and insurance (18,756), manufacturing (17,473), information (11,095) and retail trade (7,042).

Andy Patrizio is a freelance journalist based in southern California who has covered the computer industry for 20 years and has built every x86 PC he’s ever owned, laptops not included.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ITworld, Network World, its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.