Consultants Key to IT Job Growth in June

Susan Hall

There were bright spots in Friday's dismal jobs report, which showed just 80,000 jobs created in the U.S. economy during June. The month's tally was about enough to keep up with population growth, but not nearly enough to help the backlog of 13 million unemployed workers, according to The New York Times.

At the same time, there were 13,400 jobs created across four segments of IT work tracked by the Labor Department — a net gain of 8,200 jobs over the previous month and the largest increase since April 2011, reports Foote Partners.

Manufacturing jobs by computer and peripheral equipment makers grew by 4 percent compared with June 2011, but jobs in semiconductors and electronic components posted a 1.46 percent year-over-year decline.

Two categories — Management and Technical Consulting Services along with Computer Systems Design and Related Services — added 15,500 positions. But telecommunications continued its losses, losing 2,100 positions for a six-month loss of 17,900.

Indeed, almost one-third of June’s net employment gain can be attributed to temporary workers, economist Sam Chandan writes at That's become a way of life in IT as companies rely on a more flexible work force to meet their needs. Increasingly, too, that means consultants coming in for shorter-term projects.

Today's IT work force often requires different skills as companies embrace cloud computing, Big Data, mobile platforms and other initiatives, David Foote, CEO of Foote Partners says:

Many of the most in-demand jobs require combinations of skill and knowledge in a business or customer context applied to problems and solutions with a high degree of difficulty.  The job creation in IT-related disciplines ... would be higher if employers could find more of these types of people to hire. The demand and willingness to pay premiums for these people are certainly there, but the supply is not. And this will continue in the foreseeable future.

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