U.S. IT Sector Delivers Double Dose of Good News, CompTIA Reports Reveal
Monday, November 6th, 2017
Two new reports released by technology industry association CompTIA indicate continued positive momentum for the U.S. information technology sector.
The sector posted another reasonably solid month of employment in October, growing by an estimated 4,700 new jobs, according to CompTIA's analysis of today's Bureau of Labor Statistics "Employment Situation" report. (#JobsReport)
Meanwhile, 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.
Job growth paced by manufacturing, IT services
For the second consecutive month, computer and electronic products manufacturing posted a new 2017 high for employment growth, adding an estimated 4,700 jobs in October. Some 2,000 positions were in the sub-category of computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing. An estimated 1,700 new jobs were in semiconductors and electronic components manufacturing.
"IT services and custom software development continued its role as the primary jobs engine in the tech industry," said Tim Herbert, CompTIA's senior vice president for research and market intelligence. "The sector added an estimated 3,700 jobs in October, bringing the year to date total to 108,900 net new jobs."
Data processing, hosting and related services employment increased by an estimated 1,100 jobs. Other information services, including search portals, added a modest 200 jobs.
The telecommunications category continued to be a drag on the overall jobs numbers, recording an October decline of 5,000 positions. On the year, telecom is down 46,200 jobs.
To place the IT sector's total of 4,700 new jobs in context, other industries that experienced employment growth in October included healthcare (+21,900), construction (+11,000) and real estate (+10,900). Retail trade (-8,300), finance and insurance (-5,800) and legal services (-1,000) are among the sectors that had employment declines.
On the heels of strong gains the prior two reporting periods, hiring for IT occupations in other industries pulled back in October, shedding 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 workers resigning to seek new opportunities, retirements and layoffs.
Job postings for IT positions bounced back somewhat to more than 184,000 in October, an increase of 5,235 over the previous month. Software development talent continues to be the most in demand role among employers, with an estimated 53,700 job postings last month.
Revenue targets in sight for 4 in 5 IT firms
A majority of IT firms (80 percent) surveyed for the CompTIA IT Industry Business Confidence Index report being on target or tracking ahead of their revenue goals for 2017.
"As expected, strong revenue performance goes hand in hand with positive sentiment about business prospects," Herbert said.
All three components of the Index jumped this quarter, led by a 5.4-point increase to 67.4 in confidence about the U.S. economy. Executives' confidence in the IT industry rose by 3.2 points to 73.8, while confidence in their individual companies was up 1.4 points to 70.5.