U.S. employers shed roughly 134,000 information-technology jobs in July, according to IT trade group CompTIA, a signal that companies might be taking a wait-and-see approach as questions remain over everything from a new stimulus package to the return of in-person schooling amid the coronavirus pandemic.
July marked the first month of tech job declines since March, as employers across industries expanded net IT head count in April, May and June, according to CompTIA. While tech jobs remain among the most in-demand, some firms may be hesitant to fill openings as they assess how the economy develops, said Tim Herbert, CompTIA’s executive vice president for research and market intelligence.
“Perhaps they want to see how the stimulus package is going to play out,” Mr. Herbert said. “They want to see how states navigate school reopenings—a lot of those factors that they probably are hoping to get some clarity on before investing in additional hires.”
The results are based on an analysis of last week’s U.S. Labor Department data, which reported that 1.8 million new jobs were added in July, lowering the unemployment rate to 10.2% from 11.1% in June. The unemployment rate for tech jobs stood at 4.4% in July, up from 4.3% in June.
Roughly half of the nation’s 12 million technology workers are employed in the enterprise-tech sector, with the rest in IT-related jobs at companies spread across the economy. Together they represent roughly 8% of the U.S. workforce, according to CompTIA.
CompTIA’s analysis of tech-sector employment includes positions such as sales, marketing and operations, as well as core technology workers.
Tech-sector job cuts in July were driven in part by losses in the IT-and-software services segment, as well as the tech manufacturing sector, which produces hardware and other components, CompTIA said.
Across all sectors, job postings in IT fell to roughly 235,000 in July, down from nearly 269,000 in June and about 358,000 in March. The sectors with the most tech-job postings in July were professional and technical services with 39,956 postings, finance and insurance at 18,756, and manufacturing at 17,473.
“Professionals across the board are feeling the tightened market,” said Adam Lombardi, senior director of delivery transformation at staffing firm Kforce Inc., speaking about tech workers.
Despite the job losses in July, more than 500,000 IT jobs have been added so far this year, including a net 203,000 jobs from April to July—with tech jobs related to cybersecurity and e-commerce fueling many of the gains, CompTIA analysts said.
Graig Paglieri, the technology and engineering group president at staffing firm Randstad US, said the company’s clients have been beefing up their IT support staff job postings. “As many of us continue to work from home, there’s an increased burden on companies to provide sufficient technical support to their remote employees, which is why we’ve seen an increase in IT support roles by 16% in July.”
Write to Jared Council at [email protected]
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