Technology-related employment declined in February, although at a relatively modest rate versus expectations, according to analysis by CompTIA, a suburban Chicago-based industry trade association.
Based on CompTIA’s analysis of recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, tech sector employment fell by more than 11,000 positions in February. Among tech subsectors, tech manufacturing added a net new 2,800 jobs, the fifth consecutive month of positive gains. All other tech subsectors experienced net employment losses for the month. As a percentage of the tech sector’s total base of employment the losses represent a fraction of one percent (0.2%).
“As expected, the lag in labor market data means prior layoffs announcements are now appearing in BLS reporting,” said Tim Herbert, chief research officer, CompTIA. “Context is critical. The recent pullback represents a relatively small fraction of the massive tech workforce. The long-term outlook remains unchanged with demand for tech talent powering employment gains across the economy.”
Employer job postings for tech positions declined by about 40,000, to just over 229,000 in February. Most metropolitan markets experienced fallbacks from January to February, with a few exceptions. Seattle saw job postings increase by just over 10%, to nearly 4,100 for the month. The CompTIA report also shows that there were modest gains in “below the radar” markets such as Salem, OR, and Little Rock, AR.
The largest number of job postings for tech positions occurred in the professional, scientific and tech services industry sector (35,257). Finance and insurance (24,735) and manufacturing (20,246) also had healthy numbers. Tech job postings in finance were dispersed across major metro areas, led by New York City (2,295), Chicago (1,407), Dallas (1,230), Boston (1,088), and Washington (1,051).
The employment numbers, although better than many people had expected, underscores an environment in which many companies are less willing to spend money than was previously the case.