US IT job growth slows because of too few candidates

Businesses would have hired even more IT workers if they could — especially developers, cybersecurity staffers, and compliance experts. Even so, US IT job growth is still in record territory.

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August 2021

The job growth in the US IT industry continued at a steady pace in July, adding 11,200 positions, according to figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in the latest figures from IT employment consultancy Janco Associates. June saw an increase of 11,400, reflecting continuing business recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. In fact, IT job growth has occurred every month this year, though it was uneven in the first five months of the year.

Today, the jobs situation looks very much like the pre-pandemic state: more positions than candidates. “With reopening, more organizations are actively recruiting,” Janco CEO M. Victor Janulaitis said in a statement. “In full-employment states, there are many positions for IT pros that remain unfilled due to the lack of qualified candidates.”

That’s put pressure on businesses to increase salaries.

Janco expects 2021 to have greater IT job growth — 108,000 new positions — than in any year since 2015, when 112,500 new positions were created. The year 2018 saw 104,600 new IT positions; 2019 saw 90,200; and 2020 saw a loss of 33,200 positions.

There are nearly 3.7 million IT pro jobs in the US, Janco estimates.

The monthly tech jobs report released by the CompTIA industry association calculated that there were 10,700 new US tech sector jobs in July, similar to June’s gain of 10,500 jobs and following gains the entire year. The US tech sector’s job numbers have now essentially matched their March 2020 peak of 4.76 million positions, according to the CompTIA data.

CompTIA calculates both technical and nontechnical positions at tech vendors, with roughly 44% being technical and 56% being nontechnical, whereas Janco looks at IT positions, including software developers, in all industries.

CompTIA calculated the estimated unemployment rate for the tech sector as 1.5% in July, down from 2.2% in June. The current tech unemployment rate is approaching its 2018-19 lows, where it ranged from 1.2% to 2.4%. The national unemployment rate in July was 5.4%, according to the BLS.

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