U.S.-based IT companies increased employment by a net 22,200 workers while IT occupations throughout the economy grew by an estimated 391,000 positions in December, according to CompTIA, the nonprofit trade association based in suburban Chicago.
The positive tech employment news stood in contrast to a month in which the U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs, according to today’s U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Tech hiring continues to bring a degree of stability to a still fragile labor market in an incomplete recovery,” said Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. “With projections of employer demand for tech talent remaining strong in the year ahead, we hope tech can continue to serve as a catalyst for business and career opportunity.”
The tech occupation unemployment rate was 3% in December, compared to 6.7% for the overall economy. Tech unemployment started 2020 at 3% and ranged from a low of 2.4% to a high of 4.6% during the year.
During 2020 the U.S. IT sector recorded six months of employment growth and six months of job losses. IT occupation employment experienced seven months of growth and five months of declines in 2020. Last month’s addition of an estimated 391,000 new positions represented the largest monthly gain last year.
Industries with the largest number of tech jobs postings included professional, scientific and technical services (38,215), finance and insurance (18,054), manufacturing (14,872) and information (12,406).
Employer hiring for emerging tech job roles and skills reached 57,509 for the month, a slight increase from November. As a percentage of overall technology job postings, emerging technologies accounted for 28% in December, up 6 percentage points over the January 2020 rate of 22%.
The data underscore the relative health of the Information Technology sector.