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IT Jobs Trended Upward in October

IT jobs grew better than average in October, according to analyses by research firms.

The firm, Foote Partners LLC, released its IT jobs analysis last week (PDF), based on October U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data. It found that a total of 12,900 jobs were added in the IT sector last month. That number exceeds than the average monthly figure of 11,780 jobs, but it's much lower than the peak this year. The highest IT jobs increase this year took place in September, with an estimated 22,700 jobs added.

Such estimates depend on using certain BLS categories that most people interpret as representing IT-sector jobs. Foote Partners used four BLS categories in its calculations, including:

  • Computer Systems Design/Related Services -- added 6,800 jobs, exceeding the monthly average of 5,530 jobs
  • Management and Technical Consulting Services -- added 4,000 jobs, below the monthly average of 5,060 jobs
  • Telecommunications -- added 800 jobs
  • Data Processing, Hosting and Related Services -- added 1,300 jobs

In the last 12 months, most of the IT job increases came on the services side. Foote Partners estimated that 114,500 net jobs were added this year by the combined categories of Computer Systems Design/Related Services and Management and Technical Consulting Services.

The BLS estimated a general 5.8 percent unemployment rate in the month of October. The general unemployment rate was at 7.2 percent in October of 2013.

Foote Partners also produces quarterly reports on the pay estimates associated with IT skills and certifications. Its last report was for the second quarter of this year, which was released in July (PDF). The top three noncertified skills showing market gains in that quarter included operating system skills (+4.6%), systems and networking skills (+2.2%) and database skills (+0.9%). The top three certified skills showing Q2 gains included networking and communications certifications (+3.1%), Web development certifications (+3.0%) and applications development certifications (+2.4%).

Certain general IT skills followed a positive trend, according to Foote Partners' Q2 report. Those general skills included "agile, cloud, architecture, big data, security and applications development" skills. Specific skills, such as SAP expertise, also trended well.

Another research firm, Janco Associates, reported just 9,500 IT jobs added in October. The Janco analysis, which is also based on BLS statistics, dropped the Management and Technical Consulting Services category, using an "Other Information Services" category instead.

Janco Associates was bullish on future IT job prospects:

"Based on interviews of 95 CIOs in the last several weeks, we find that hiring is on a definite upswing and there is a definite shortage of IT pros who deal with cloud based applications and mobile computing," commented M.V Janulaitis, Janco's CEO, in a released statement. He added that "there is an upward pressure on compensation for the first time since 2002."

An even lower estimate of IT jobs growth for October came from the TechServe Alliance industry lobbying group. The TechServe Alliance estimated that just 7,800 jobs had been added in October, according to a Computerworld article.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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