By David Reichard, Alluvion President
Tech Sector jobs have always provided a very stable career field. Outside of the turnover associate with start-ups, tech sector jobs have historically been remarkably consistent with unemployment rates ranging between 2% and 3%, much lower than many other industries.
Some people assume that tech jobs will all be outsourced to foreign countries in the future. While many IT roles have been outsourced in the past, those outsourced roles have most often been focused on certain geographic areas to support around-the-clock services. The fact is there is always high demand for skilled IT workers, wherever they are located. And, as remote work continues to rise globally, the rising tide of opportunity will be available for all technology workers.
Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, net tech employment in the U.S. totaled an estimated 12.1 million in 2019, an increase of more than 307,000 workers over the 2018 total of 11.8 million, reflecting a 2.6 percent year-over-year growth rate. Net tech employment accounted for 7.7 percent of the overall U.S. workforce in 2019 and that doesn’t include many jobs that blur the lines across tech industries. Leading Tech Occupation Categories during this time included:
- Software & Web Developers (1,593,546 | +4.3% YOY)
- Systems & Cybersecurity Analysts (740, 286 | +2.6% YOY)
- Network Architects, Admin & Support (705,484 | +0.0% YOY)
- IT Support Specialists (664,577 | +3.0% YOY)
In all, 46 states registered positive tech employment job growth in 2019, with Florida coming in at the eight highest with a 20% overall gain in tech jobs and ranking even higher in several individual categories.
But, how have tech jobs held up since the onset of COVID-19?
According to CIODive, based on analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data by CompTIA, while the tech sector hasn’t completely dodged the fallout from Covid-19, it has held up much better than most other industries.
While the national unemployment rate rose to 14.7%, the IT unemployment rate was far below the national average at 4.3%. In April 2020, the tech sector lost 112,000 jobs, less than 1% of 12.1 million tech workforce. In comparison, national unemployment dropped by 20.5 million jobs. Even in April, there were still 270,000 job postings for core IT professionals, down from 360,000 postings in March, but still quite healthy.
According to Tim Herbert, EVP for research and market intelligence at CompTIA in his interview with CIO Dive, even when large companies do need to cut back to manage cash flow or adjust to new economic considerations, the cuts are more likely to be in sales or retail jobs vs. software developers or other core high-tech jobs.