IT hiring slowed - Budget sequestration may chill market

by Patrick Thibodeau

Budget sequestration may be helping to chill market

Computerworld - WASHINGTON - IT hiring slowed - Budget sequestration may chill market - After a decent start earlier this year, IT hiring is slowing down.

Despite a 203,000 increase in the overall number of jobs added to the U.S. economy in November, an analysis of hiring by two independent groups shows decreasing demand for IT pros. That trend has become apparent over the last several months.

Historic IT Job Market Size

Historic IT Job Market Size

Data complied by Janco Associates is as of August 2020

 

Changes in the number of net IT Jobs created or lost

This chart is not the originally published one, rather it is updated with the current data based on the analysis by Janco Associates, Inc. For the latest IT Employment Data click here.


Moving average of IT job market growth
The moving average was impacted by several adjustments
in the number of new jobs and COVID-19 reported
by the BLS.

By Janco's count, only 400 IT jobs were added last month, 4,300 in the last three months and nearly 71,000 this year.

Victor Janulaitis, the CEO of Janco, said the IT job situation is unlikely to improve -- especially once a new round of government mandated cuts, sequestration, hits the defense industry. That's because defense firms employ many people in states with large IT populations, including California, Washington, and Virginia.

"I think the recovery is on spotty ground at this point in time," said Janulaitis. He said CIOs are becoming more cautious on hiring, based on his survey over the last two weeks.

The analysis, by TechServe Alliance, an industry group, reports that IT hiring expanded by 3,200 jobs in November, 3,100 jobs in October, and 6,100 jobs in September. Those numbers are well off the hiring gains posted earlier this year.

From June to January of this year, the number of new IT jobs added on a monthly basis ranged from about 20,000 to just over 30,000, according to TechServe. "We are noticing a clear deceleration in the rate of growth," said Mark Roberts, the CEO of TechServe.

Nonetheless, there have been 28 months of consecutive job growth in IT. The total IT employment base is now 4.5 million, up 180,200 jobs this year, the group said.

Roberts blamed the slowdown on a variety of factors, including waning confidence and the ongoing government impasse on spending.

The Conference Board recently reported that its consumer confidence index decreased sharply in October and again in November. Consumers expressed "greater concern about future job and earning prospects," the Board said.

Incidentally, a trade group in North Carolina that tracks IT hiring in that state, noted a decline in hiring as well. "This drop came unexpected as many job markets swing up during the fall," reported the North Carolina Technology Association.

In analyzing IT hiring, some firms such as Janco Associates limit the types of IT occupations they study, and use a data set that's smaller than that used by TechServe. But Janco still sees the same trend.


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