IT Adds Jobs in January, Many May Be Hidden

Susan Hall

The labor statistics released by the government Friday touted the overall unemployment rate fell from 9.4 percent to 9 percent, but with just 36,000 net jobs added during January. This post at, however, challenges how that's possible, given that decline supposedly happened despite all those holiday temp jobs going away.


Foote Partners' analysis of the data found 11,800 IT-related jobs during the month, the eighth consecutive month of growth in IT labor segments. It says nearly 95 percent of growth, however, has been in just two segments: management and technical consulting services, and computer systems design and related services.


Still, the IT analyst firm maintains that many more IT-related jobs are hidden within other segments because of the narrow way the government defines IT professionals. These are the IT/business hybrids I wrote about previously. CEO David Foote says that only about 20 percent of IT workers show up in government data and there are far more than the 74,200 net IT jobs added in the past 12 months. He said:

... the role of technology in the enterprise is now so pervasive that managing it is no longer entrusted to one group but instead split among every department, function, line of business and product group. The job of each one of these entities is to determine how to make the best use of information technology for producing revenues and profitability, building market share, ensuring satisfied customers, controlling costs, innovating solutions and generally to stay competitive in their industries.

The worst-performing segment in the government report was data processing, hosting and related services, which cut 1,900 jobs in January. It has lost 6,600 jobs in the past 12 months. In January, the communications equipment segment added 800 jobs and the computer and peripheral equipment segment gained 700.


Meanwhile, network systems and data communications analysts made the Bureau of Labor Statistics' list of the fast-growing jobs in the next decade. It lists the mean wage at $76,000 and projects growth over the next 10 years to be 53 percent. And on its list of top 10 industries for growth in 2010: high-tech equipment manufacturing and computer systems design.

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