The Washington Post

IT jobs reports show growth

Information technology jobs in the country are growing steadily, according to new industry reports.

IT jobs totaled 4,473,000 in June, according to a new report from the TechServe Alliance, an Alexandria-based group representing IT and engineering staffing firms. This represents a 0.51 percent growth since last month, and a 5.71 percent increase since last year.

The June tally meant the industry added 241,700 more tech jobs than the same time one year ago, and 22,600 jobs since May, the report found, based on an analysis of staffing patterns in several IT and computer-related jobs across industries including manufacturing, retail trade, health and education.

The U.S. economy added 195,000 jobs overall in June, compared to May, according to the Department of Labor.

“[A]n inadequate supply of talent, not demand, represents our greatest challenge to achieving the full potential for IT employment growth in the U.S.,” Mark Roberts, chief executive of TechServe Alliance, said in a statement.

Another industry report suggests a similar upward trend in IT job growth, though not as steep. An analysis from Foote Partners — an IT benchmark research firm based in Vero Beach, Fla. — suggests 18,200 new IT jobs were added in June, which is 8,400 more added than in May. The majority of these new jobs were in management and technical consulting and computer systems design services, the report said.

“The bottom line is there is optimism for IT workers based on positive momentum that started in October and has been running through the first six months of 2013,” David Foote, the firm’s chief analyst, noted in the report.

But not all technology jobs show the same trend, showed a semi-annual report on the technology business sector from Chicago-based research firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The firm — which provides outplacement services and advises companies in the process of downsizing—noted a 144 percent increase in technology sector job cut announcements since the first quarter of this fiscal year.

John Challenger, the firm’s chief executive, noted that these numbers reflect cuts in the technology business sector — hardware manufacturers, for instance — and not in the IT profession overall, but could shed light on the challenges of remaining employed while technology rapidly changes.

“What it does suggest is that volatility is up,” he said, noting that many of the technology job cuts were linked to shifting technology trends.

“Technology [is] becoming quickly obsolete...[Companies] are having to adapt to what comes next, and cut jobs,” he said. “The status quo is not quite holding.”

New products and software services — big data, cloud computing, and smartphone technology — are producing a “change in demand,” Challenger added. “Companies are having to change, cut back, and go to the future.”



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