US IT job growth slows because of too few candidates

Job growth in the US IT industry slowed further in October, adding 4,800 jobs, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) included in the latest figures from IT employment consultancy Janco Associates. That’s down from the 8,900 positions added in the revised September numbers.

The overall growth in IT positions comes even as the highly infectious delta variant of COVID-19 continued to hamper overall job growth, primarily due to the slowdown in the restaurant, entertainment and service sectors.

The IT industry’s biggest challenge is finding qualified candidates for those IT jobs, Janco CEO M. Victor Janulaitis said in a statement. And the challenge will not end soon, he said:

From the data we’ve reviewed, the closings resulted in fewer computer science candidates graduating from colleges and trade schools. Those pending for those titles were also reduced. One of the drivers of that trend was that border closures limited the number of foreigners who could qualify for such training and education.

Many of the new positions CIOs are trying to fill are in new technology. There is a shortage of people with the necessary training and skills. There are vacancies that cannot be filled. … At the same time, downtime rates are increasing in many IT organizations.

IT job growth in the US was strongest at the beginning of the year, before the delta variant and talent shortage: August saw an increase of 25,400 new jobs after about 18,500 in June and 9,900 in July (all are revised figures), reflecting business continuity. pandemic recovery. In fact, IT job growth has occurred for 15 consecutive months, although it was uneven through May. So far in 2021, I have averaged 13,000 new jobs each month.

TI’s job situation in the US still looks a lot like pre-pandemic status – more jobs than candidates. In fact, companies would have filled more IT positions in September if they had found enough qualified candidates, Janulaitis said. Finding web developers and cybersecurity and compliance professionals remains the most difficult task for CIOs, he said, and it is causing HR to focus more on retention of IT staff.

That talent shortage has put even greater pressure on companies to increase salaries, Janulaitis said, and IT salaries in the US had already been trending up in 2021.

Janco still expects 2021 to see higher IT job growth: There were 189,000 new positions in 2021 as of October 31, with two more months of hiring in the year, than in any previous year, more than making up for the jobs lost due to the pandemic. The last peak was in 2015, when 112,500 new jobs were created. In 2018, 104,600 new IT positions were added; in 2019, the increase was 90,200; And in 2020, the industry lost 33,200 jobs.

Today, there are 3.72 million IT professional jobs in the US, Janco estimates.

The monthly tech jobs report published by industry association CompTIA it also showed slower hiring growth in October. CompTIA estimated there were 8,300 new jobs in the US tech sector last month, down from 18,700 in September, 26,800 in August, 10,700 in July and 10,500 in June. US tech sector employment figures remain above their March 2020 peak of 4.76 million jobs, topping 4.81 million in October 2021, according to CompTIA data.

CompTIA estimates technical and non-technical positions at technology providers, with approximately 44% being technical and 56% non-technical; Janco analyzes IT positions, including software developers, in all industries.

CompTIA put the estimated unemployment rate for the tech sector at 2.1% in October, down from 2.2% in September, but above 1.5% in August and July. The current rate of tech unemployment is within the range of its 2018-19 lows, where it ranged from 1.2% to 2.4%. The national unemployment rate in October was 4.6%, up from 4.8% in September, according to the BLS.

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