Computer, Telecom Sector Jobs Rise

IT Job Report for August 2013Jobs in two tech sectors posted sequential and year-over-year job growth in August, though the overall IT industry remained more or less even, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

During the month, the computer and peripheral equipment business had 164,300 jobs, up from 161,800 in July. Year on year, the number of positions in the sector rose 1.8 percent. The outlook for the sector is improving: According to a report from researcher MarketLine, a growing economy could increase the sector’s business by as much as 8 percent between 2010 and 2015, to $245 billion.

Meanwhile, the telecommunications business, which has been slowly gaining strength during the year, recorded an increase to 864,100 jobs, up from 861,100 in July. Year over year, that’s a 1 percent increase.

The insatiable appetite for data by both domestic and foreign users is driving the increase in telecom investments, say economists. Carriers are enlarging the footprint of their networks and enhancing their infrastructures, which is in turn boosting the number of telecom jobs. Over the next five years, projected growth in satellite telecommunications should have an impact, as well.

Overall, tech industry jobs rose 2.4 percent in the last 12 months, though the total number slipped to approximately 14.44 million, down from 14.45 million the previous month. The slip was caused largely by a decline in jobs within the data processing, hosting and services, electronic instruments and communications equipment sectors.

“Based on our interviews with over 105 CIOs in the last 30 days, we concluded that CIOs want to hire but are being directed to hold off by management,” said Victor Janulaitis, CEO of information systems management consultant Janco Associates, in a statement. “In addition, as part of the 2014 budgeting process they are being ‘constrained’ in the number of initiatives that they can budget for in the coming year. Most of the CIOs we interviewed do not feel they will be able to expand staff size over the next 12 months.”

That assessment is far different from a recent Robert Half Technology CIO survey, which found a substantial increase in CIOs willing to fill vacant positions and ease up on hiring holds in the fourth quarter. Janulaitis says the discrepancy can be attributed to when the data was gathered. He noted that the Robert Half data was gathered before companies began finalizing their 2014 budgets, where Janco’s survey was conducted during the period when companies are in the tail end of their budget plans. Another difference is that Robert Half was for the current fourth quarter, while Janco looks at the budget year 2014.

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