U.S. Tech Unemployment Rate at Record Low, CompTIA Analysis Reveals
Monday, June 10th, 2019
The unemployment rate for technology occupations in the United States fell to a 20-year low of 1.3 percent in May as hiring gains were recorded in both the tech sector and across the economy, according to an analysis of today's U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics "Employment Situation" report by CompTIA, the leading technology industry association.
At 1.3 percent tech occupation unemployment is at its lowest rate going back to January 2000, the earliest available detailed occupation-level data from the BLS. The previous low of 1.4 percent occurred in March 2018 and April 2007.
Tech sector employment for May remained in positive territory, though growth was modest compared to recent months. An estimated 5,800 new hires were added to the tech sector workforce in May.
"The data confirms what employers have been saying for months and even years – the demand for tech talent has reached historic levels," said Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA.
"There is now the very real prospect of tech worker shortages affecting industry growth," Herbert added. "Firms seeking to expand into new areas such as the Internet of Things, robotic process automation or artificial intelligence may be inhibited by a lack of workers with these advanced skills, not to mention shortages in the complementary areas of technology infrastructure and cybersecurity."
IT occupations across the entire U.S. economy increased by an estimated 133,000 jobs, reversing some of the declines of the past two months. There tends to be a higher degree of variance with monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics data at the occupation level, so the monthly occupation figures should be viewed as directional.
Within the tech sector new hiring in technology services, custom software development and computer systems design paced job growth, expanding by an estimated 8,400 new hires.
Gains in other employment categories were more modest. Computer and electronic products manufacturing added 1,600 new jobs, include 1,200 in computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing. Hiring in data processing, hosting and related services was virtually unchanged (+100).
Tech sector employment fell off in two other categories. Other information services, including search portals, shed an estimated 2,600 positions, while telecommunications employment declined by some 1,700 jobs.
Overall, the U.S. economy added 75,000 jobs in May. It marked the 104th straight month of gains but was well below economists' forecasts for the month.
Software and application developers continue to be the most in-demand occupation companies are looking to hire, with 89,900 job postings last month. Other tech jobs companies were looking to fill included computer user support specialists (25,000), computer systems engineers and architects (22,100), computer systems analysts (20,100) and information technology project managers (17,600).