IT job numbers grew in July, but not as fast as they did during the rest of 2016. Yet big data and cloud trends will continue to drive job growth going forward, according to CompTIA researchers.
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If you've got a career in IT, 2016 has most likely been a stable year for you. That's because the IT sector has been adding jobs all year long, even in a presidential election year full of uncertainty.
A new report from CompTIA that analyzes some of this job growth attributes the trend to growing tech areas such as big data and cloud computing.
What do the numbers say?
The IT sector added 47,100 jobs total during the first seven months of 2016 for a total of 4,392,800. But July saw just 4,000 new jobs added, as the pace of job growth slowed.
CompTIA provided analysis on data from the new Bureau of Labor Statistics July report, which covers all job categories, not just IT.
"In light of the employment gains nationally, the modest increase in IT sector employment could be viewed with a degree of disappointment," said Tim Herbert, senior vice president, research and market intelligence, CompTIA, in a prepared statement.
Disappointing maybe. Keep in mind July is in the middle of the summer. But there are plenty of indicators that say IT employment will continue to grow, according to Herbert.
"Monthly data aside, the over-arching trend for the IT sector remains favorable," he said. "As tech companies shift into new categories such as cloud, big data, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, they will seek a range of new skills."
Herbert also pointed to strength in service jobs versus tech jobs.
"Services categories continue to outperform tech segments as the 'everything-as-a-service' trend expands its presence with customers of all sizes," he said.
For July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed job gains in computer systems design and IT software and services, which were up 8,200, and in other information services, including search portals, up 1,500.
The report showed job declines in computer and electronic products manufacturing, which fell by 3,100 jobs; data processing, hosting, and related services, which fell by 2,300 jobs; and telecommunications, which fell by 300 jobs.
The CompTIA report also included data from a Burning Glass Labor Insights report that looks at IT occupation job postings. Looking at the previous 12 months, job postings experienced a notable dip in January 2015 and then again in December of 2015.
July 2016 marked the low point in IT job postings since January 2015, according to the CompTIA IT Employment Tracker report.
Of course, some job titles are always in higher demand than others. The report also provided a snapshot of what titles were currently the Top 5 among IT job postings.
These are: software developer, applications; computer systems engineer/architect; computer systems analyst; computer user support specialists; and IT project manager.
Another trade organization, TechServe Alliance, a national trade association for IT and engineering staffing and solutions, also reported modest IT job growth recently. The organization reported that jobs in June grew 3.7% year-over-year but just 0.04% sequentially over the previous month of May.
"Despite the deceleration, the growth rate for IT employment on a year-over-year basis continues to outpace the overall workforce," said Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance, in a statement issued last month.
"On the engineering side, employment has been essentially flat the last two months. In IT and even engineering, it is important to remember that all skill sets are not equal. There remains an acute shortage of talent in many high demand skill sets."
Jessica Davis has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology at titles including IDG's Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise's eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology's MSPmentor. She's passionate about the practical use of business intelligence, ... View Full Bio
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