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IT Jobs Explosion in North America in January

by Jenny Thomas

The folks at Janco Associates have some good news for IT job seekers. According to a new Janco report, based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the IT job market exploded with 73,500 new jobs in January.

Even with the unemployment rate rising to 7.9 percent in 2013, Janco is seeing the number of new jobs for IT professionals is at levels high enough for IT mid-level manager and developers to say IT is in full recovery mode. According to data Janco extracted from the January jobs report from the BLS, there were 73,500 more IT professionals employed in January than in December, which is in addition to the 61,000 adjustment that the BLS added to the base number.

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"According to the data there have been over 200,000 IT jobs added in the last three months," said Victor Janulaitis, CEO of Janco Associates. "That level of additional IT employment is robust enough to be called a boom. "

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Janulaitis explained that Janco looked at the number of IT pros employed using the BLS data and compared it with Janco's independent survey of 106 CIOs in North America. The conclusion was that the "hiring freezes of 2008 through 2012 have been lifted as can be seen from greater demand for mid-level IT managers and technologists who can address demands placed on CIOs for more web-enabled applications," said Janulaitis.

Janco's data shows there's more jobs to come, with another boon expected in about six months, as you can see on the chart below.

The brightest spot is anticipated to be the healthcare job market. Janco sites the implementation of electronic patient records as one of the driving forces in the increased opportunities in this field.

And now for the bad news (you knew there had to be some). Janco's report does express concern that the data shows the labor market participation rate, meaning people who are either working or actively looking for work, remains at record low levels. The trend for labor participation since 2008 still is down by 1.4 percent, which translates to approximately 3.9 million people who are excluded from the labor force calculation.

IT job market improves - hiring up

"The year-to-year comparison of workforce participation shows how deep a hole we are in," said Janulaitis. "Until those percentages turn around, the overall recovery will be weak at best. If that is the case, then there is a strong possibility that IT demand will be dampened, and overall IT job market size could fall back to the levels of 2010 and 2011. "

During telephone interviews conducted in late January of 106 CIOs from companies located in the United States, Janco learned many CIOs are cautious but feel that overall hiring will improve in 2013. Janco reports that many CIOs are closely managing their overall full-time employee headcount level and adding staff for critical new developments.

Janulaitis noted that a few CIOs in selected regions like the San Francisco bay area and Boston are bullish about future hires and are looking to add back management levels that were eliminated in the recession.

Let's hope for this turns out to be correct for the sake of IT job seekers everywhere.

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