Amid Gloomy Job News, IT's Still the Place to Be

Susan Hall
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Top 10 Metro Markets for Tech Employment has identified the top tech job markets.

The Labor Department's job report released Friday was pretty dismal, with a net 18,000 positions added during the month. It counted 57,000 jobs created in the private sector, but offset by 39,000 positions cut in the public sector. The overall unemployment rate inched back up to 9.2 percent.


The job losses in government seem to be the real story, according to U.S. News & World Report. In June, local governments eliminated 18,000 positions and the federal government shed 14,000 jobs. It says 100,000 government workers have lost their jobs this year. Still, governments still have 7 percent more workers than in 2000, while the private sector has about 1 percent fewer.


A separate report released Thursday by payroll company Automatic Data Processing Inc. and consultancy Macroeconomic Advisers, meanwhile, found hiring picking up in businesses that employ 50 or fewer workers. It found that those small businesses added 88,000 jobs in June, up from just 27,000 in May, The Wall Street Journal reports.


Scott Swift, recruiting consultant at California-based HR outsourcing firm TriNet, which specializes in staffing for small companies, in an interview recently told me, however, that hiring managers can get hung up on these national job reports, which don't necessarily reflect the market for IT jobs. He said:

... some hiring managers are influenced by the overall unemployment numbers, and it really does not relate at all to technical. We have to educate them. We have to work hard to attract the people that they want. They're not sitting around waiting for you to call.'s Tom Silver puts the IT unemployment rate at about 4 percent and according to a recent Dice survey, tech hiring is expected to increase in the second half of the year, InfoWorld reports.


Indeed, the Labor Department report indicated that tech was a good placed to be. The Register breaks out the hiring that did take place in June, noting that the Labor Department's algorithms have changed, pushing the numbers down for 2011. (It recalculated the previous months of this year.) Last month, though:

  • Computer and electronic products manufacturers added 8,700 jobs.
  • Communication equipment makers added 1,200.
  • Semiconductor and electronic component makers, 3,500.
  • The data processing and hosting sector cut 900 jobs.
  • Telecommunications added just 400.
  • Business and professional services added 24,000.

And within that sector:

  • Computer systems design and related services added 7,500 workers.
  • Management and technical consulting services firms added 9,100, bringing to 52,000 the jobs added there since March.


And there were fewer tech layoffs in the first half of the year than in 2010, about 2,400 a month, though the numbers rose in May and June, according to outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas. It counted 14,308 jobs cut in the U.S. electronics, computers and telecommunications industries in the first six months of 2011, down 60 percent from 35,375 in the period a year before. It also notes announced plans to hire 25,463 workers in the sector this year.


Meanwhile, the layoff rate in other sectors was higher, Network World reports.

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