A pair of reports released by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) indicate positive momentum for the U.S. information technology (IT) sector, showing job growth and confidence at an all-time high.
Based on analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Situation report, the sector grew by an estimated 4,700 new jobs in October, demonstrating a continued upward trend. Additionally, the CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index for Q4 2017 is at its highest level since it was launched in 2009. The Index increased 3.2 points and now stands at 70.6 on a 100-point scale.
Manufacturing, IT Services Pace Job Growth
The job growth marked the second straight month in which computer and electronic products manufacturing posted a new high for employment growth in 2017. Of the 4,700 jobs, roughly 2,000 positions fall under the subcategory of computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing. Another 1,700 positions filled semiconductors and electronic components manufacturing.
“IT services and custom software development continued its role as the primary jobs engine in the tech industry,” noted Tim Herbert, CompTIA’s senior vice president for research and market intelligence. Herbert added that the sector has on-boarded 108,900 net new jobs, year to date.
Other subspaces that saw growth include data processing, hosting and related services, which increased by an estimated 1,100 jobs. Information services including search portals saw a more modest rise of 200 jobs.
The telecommunications category, on the other hand, continues to be a drag on the overall jobs numbers, with an October decline of 5,000 positions. Telecom is down by more than 46,000 jobs for the year.
Other industries that experienced employment growth in October include health care (21,900), construction (11,000) and real estate (10,900). The greatest declines were experienced by the retail trade (8,300 fewer jobs), finance and insurance (5,800), and legal services (1,000) sectors.
After strong gains in the previous two reporting periods, hiring for IT occupations in other industries suffered a setback in October with a loss of an estimated 77,000 jobs. IT occupation data from the BLS tends to show a higher degree of volatility from month to month, reflecting the normal pattern of labor turnover, including retirements, layoffs and workers resigning to seek new opportunities.
IT job postings swelled to 184,000 in October, an increase of 5,235 over September. Software development talent continues to be the most in-demand role among employers, with an estimated 53,700 job postings last month.
Four of Five IT Firms on Target for Revenue Goals
Eighty percent of IT firms surveyed in the CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index report indicated they are on target or track ahead of their revenue goals for 2017. All three components of the Index increased for the fourth quarter, topped by a 5.4-point increase to 67.4 in U.S. economy confidence. Executive confidence in the IT industry rose by 3.2 points to 73.8, while confidence in their individual companies climbed 1.4 to 70.5.
“As expected, strong revenue performance goes hand in hand with positive sentiment about business prospects,” Herbert said.
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is the world’s leading technology association, with approximately 2,000 member companies, 3,000 academic and training partners, more than 100,000 registered users and more than two million IT certifications issued. CompTIA’s unparalleled range of programs foster workforce skills development and generate critical knowledge and insight—building the foundation for technology’s future.