If you are looking for a new IT job, there’s some good news for you in the US Bureau of Labor Statistics January jobs and unemployment reports. However, CIOs and other IT and tech leaders can expect a continued challenging environment when it comes to retaining and recruiting talent.
Overall, the US saw strong national growth of 467,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate held at 4%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report.
What’s It Mean for IT Workers?
Drilling down, the unemployment rate for areas where IT workers are employed saw significant improvement from the same period a year ago. The unemployment rate for professional and business services fell to 4.5% in January 2022 from 6.8% the same period a year ago. The unemployment rate for information workers fell to 4.2% in January 2022 from 7.4% during the same period a year ago.
“By all accounts this was an exceptionally strong start to the year for tech employment,” said Tim Herbert, chief research officer at CompTIA, an IT industry association, in a statement. “The arms race in recruiting and retaining tech talent undoubtedly challenges employers in direct and indirect ways.”
CompTIA issues its own Tech Jobs Report analysis
to coincide with the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics job report and pulls additional information about job postings from EMSI Burning Glass. The organization said that employer job postings for tech positions reached nearly 340,000 last month across industry sectors, geographies, and skill sets. The January rate of tech job postings is tracking above the 12-month average by approximately 11%, according to CompTIA.
“Employer job posting analysis confirms the interconnected nature of technical skills across cloud infrastructure, applications, data and cybersecurity, as well as the critical importance of soft skills, project management skills and business acumen,” Herbert said.
Tech job postings in these industries led the list in January, according to CompTIA:
- Professional, scientific, and technical services (56,860)
- Finance and insurance (38,820)
- Manufacturing (31,379)
- Information (16,796)
- Retail trade (11,687)
Additionally, the organization reported that more than half of January’s job gains in the tech sector were in IT services and custom software development (up 14,800). Technology companies also added workers in data processing, hosting and related services (+7,500), other information services including search engines (+3,100), and computer and electronic products manufacturing (+2,000). The only negative category, losing 3,100 jobs, was telecommunications employment.
The strong labor market is good for workers, but it makes for a challenging retention and hiring market for employers, who are facing higher employment costs, according to another recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Are Workers Looking for New Jobs?
These strong job numbers for January follow on additional and separate research released by CompTIA this week, revealing that approximately 30% of workers were looking for a new job or a new career over the last three months. The Job Seeker Trends report was based on a survey of 1,119 adults in the US labor force who are currently employed or actively looking for work.
“These findings confirm there is also a great resetting of expectations underway as workers and employers seek better models for reskilling, talent matching and career navigation,” said Todd Thibodeaux, CompTIA president and CEO, in a statement.
Further, CompTIA said that among current job seekers, 61% said they have looked at new opportunities in a different career field and 63% have searched for jobs within their current or most recent career field. The findings are consistent across gender, age, and education demographics, according to the organization.