• United States

Tech industry remains on a hiring spree

News Analysis
May 12, 20213 mins

Other sectors of the economy are doing poorly but tech keeps hiring, according to analysis of government data.

head in clouds hiring in the future jobs by gustavofrazao and peopleimages getty images
Credit: gustavofrazao / PeopleImages / Getty Images

Overall U.S. employment figures for April may have been dismal but not in the tech sector, which has grown steadily all year, adding 16,000 new jobs in April for a total of 60,900 so far this year.

That’s according to CompTIA‘s analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) latest Employment Situation Summary. The overall jobs numbers, which came out last week, were dismal. The U.S. created just 266,000 new jobs in April when economists surveyed by Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal had estimated 1 million new jobs.

However, there are signs of tech hiring slowing. Employers across all sectors of the economy reduced their hiring of IT workers by an estimated 234,000 positions. This was the first decline after four consecutive months of employment gains. For the year, IT hires have increased by 72,000 positions.

There are many reasons for big swings in the monthly numbers, according to a CompTIA spokesperson. A project involving IT workers might be started, completed, paused or canceled and a company would adjust its staffing accordingly. Or an individual worker might be temporarily furloughed, permanently laid off, not working for personal reasons, or in between jobs.

CompTIA says it bases its research on the BLS’s monthly survey of households, and the survey is an estimate of employed people, not an estimate of jobs. This includes people who worked as paid employees, were self-employed, worked without pay for at least 15 hours in a family business, or were temporarily absent from their jobs

“As employers increase hiring activity, expect more tech workers to explore their career options,” said Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. “In a competitive labor market, companies will need to be even more diligent in their approach to work practices and corporate culture in retaining tech talent.”  

Jobs for application developers remain the hottest category, with 93,500 open positions last month. That’s more than the next four occupation categories combined. But there are plenty of open positions for IT support specialists, systems engineers and architects, systems analysts, and IT project managers.

The latest job posting data shows that California, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and Florida had the largest month-to-month increase in IT job postings, with the Phoenix, Denver, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Sacramento metropolitan areas performing best.

However, secondary cities and markets have also fared well, including Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; Baltimore, Maryland; Detroit, Michigan; Tampa, Florida; St. Louis, Missouri; Portland, Oregon;  and Columbus, Ohio.

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.

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