U.S. technology sector employment grew by an estimated 11,400 jobs in July despite telecom companies shedding some 5,100 positions, according to an analysis by CompTIA, a suburban Chicago-based industry association.
The job losses in telecom were offset by a solid month of hiring in the employment category of technology services, custom software development and computer systems design, based on CompTIA’s analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation report. Employers added an estimated 10,600 new hires in the services and software category.
“Despite the telecom losses and some softness in job posting data, it was a reasonably solid month for tech,” said Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. “Digital transformation is an ongoing process, where the mix of investment, skills requirements and business alignment are never static.”
Telecom has now experienced nine consecutive months of employment declines with an estimated 22,800 jobs eliminated so far in 2019. Without the telecom losses, IT industry employment growth for the year would be approximately 98,000 positions.
July employment gains in the tech sector were also recorded in computer and electronic products manufacturing (+ 2,600), other information services, including search portals (+ 2,000) and data processing, hosting and related services (+ 1,300).
Across the entire U.S. economy last month, tech occupations expanded by an estimated 135,000 positions. There tends to be a higher degree of variance with the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics data at the occupation level, so the monthly occupation figures should be viewed as directional.
The unemployment rate for IT occupations inched down in July to 1.3 percent, continuing to be at or near historic lows. By comparison, the overall national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.7 percent.
The data offers a good news/bad news situation that bodes well for the broader industry at the expense of telecom. However, companies looking for telecom talent may find themselves in a buyer’s market.