As Trump Rails and Employment Slumps, Tech Jobs Still Immune

A new U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on jobs and unemployment has some surprising statistics. Though President Trump hinted that job numbers for August were “really good,” the United States didn’t add as many jobs as some had predicted. Tech jobs, however, are doing just fine.

Versus July 2019, the BLS reports, the “computer systems design and related fields” designation gained 10,200 jobs in August. The entire “professional and technical services” field, which computer jobs are categorized under, gained 14,800 jobs. The broader category both are situated in, “professional and business services,” gained a mere 37 jobs month-over-month.

Overall, analysts expected 160,000 new jobs in August 2019, while we got 130,000. The unemployment rate stayed at an impressively low 3.7 percent. It has remained there since June 2019; the last time unemployment was specifically higher was in January, when it hit 4.0 percent.

In its own analysis, CompTIA says the unemployment rate for IT professionals is at 1.5 percent, up slightly from its historic low of 1.3 percent last month. Job losses in tech came mostly from telecommunications (3,600 jobs lost) and “data processing, hosting, and related services” (900 jobs down the drain).

“In contrast to facets of the national labor market, tech hiring continues to deliver both quantity and quality in terms of employment gains,” says Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. “Beyond the net new jobs created tech positions pay substantially higher wages on average, offer more career on-ramps for candidates of any background, and more opportunities for advancement.”

Last month, Herbert said “there is now the very real prospect of tech worker shortages affecting industry growth,” adding “firms seeking to expand into new areas such as the Internet of Things, robotic process automation or artificial intelligence may be inhibited by a lack of workers with these advanced skills, not to mention shortages in the complementary areas of technology infrastructure and cybersecurity.”

Speaking to us in ALL CAPS from the wilds of Twitter, President Trump said “the women are doing great. Asians also” about the latest jobs report before congratulating us all for… working:

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! pic.twitter.com/NeTvaaeVTR— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 7, 2019

Thanks, Donald!

Unfortunately, we don’t know what it all means yet. The labor market may not have grown as much as we’d like, but it did grow. Analysts seem mixed on whether slowed job growth means a recession is near, or if its a natural ebb and flow of a strong economy. Whatever the case, tech is still in great shape.

41 Responses to “As Trump Rails and Employment Slumps, Tech Jobs Still Immune”

  1. First of all, the biased political spin in this article is not needed. Facts are needed and the author delegitimizes himself because of it. Second, there are plenty of tech resources out there to fill positions who are over 40 but ageism is inhibiting their hiring. Third, the notion that there aren’t jobs available and that hiring is down is inaccurate due to the fact that the pool of jobs vs. qualified candidates is at a lower percentage because so many people are working now. Please stick to numbers and facts and stop with the spin.

  2. Virgil Bierschwale

    Tech Jobs Immune?

    I don’t think so.

    If we subtract the computer and mathematical jobs we had in 2010 from those we have in 2018, we find out that we had an increase of 1,100,350.

    But, if we subtract the H-1B applications for those same jobs, we find that we had a negative 1,834,448 computer and mathematical jobs.

  3. The one thing we don’t need from Dice, is this author’s political opinions polluting its articles. We get enought of that from the main stream media. We are technical community that serves our clients and employers equally, whether we agree with their their views or not. Let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot by causing division with in our own workforce. Express your views in the voting booth; not in the server room.

  4. Larry Fortnoy

    Tech jobs are typically immune to recessions. But Trump has introduced so much criminal behavior and a culture of gritting into the White House that we might not escape the next pullback. To inflate the budget deficit back over a Trillion dollars while the Obama economy was still strong was a disastrous move which will have repercussions we haven’t seen yet. The impeachment investigations by Democrats are getting started this term. Let’s hope for the best.

  5. I agree with the comment “keep the tech forum about tech and leave the political diatribe out”. Mr. Swann downplays overall job growth to push a political agenda while ignoring the fact unemployment is still 3.1%.

    • That’s exactly right!
      In addition, H1B almost killed diversity in corporate IT for years. Corporate IT must get back to diversity here in the US. No diversity leads to corruption!
      Once, I provided technical support to a Senior SAS Programmer in a giant pharma, filing a ticket about finding a freaking check box, located under the Tools->Options-> scroll down and it is right there!!! …then later keeping the ticket opened, asking very basic SAS questions. How could that be for a Senior level position?!
      Yes, H1B abuse almost killed diversity in corporate world and led to corruption during hiring process!
      Noticably, H1B folks do not diversify even during the lunch breaks – they eat together only, so they won’t need to explain how did they get the job!

    • That’s exactly right!
      In addition, H1B almost killed diversity in corporate IT for years. Corporate IT must get back to diversity here in the US. No diversity leads to corruption!
      Once, I provided technical support to a Senior SAS Programmer in a giant pharma, filing a ticket about finding a freaking check box, located under the Tools->Options-> scroll down and it is right there!!! …then later keeping the ticket opened, asking very basic SAS questions. How could that be for a Senior level position?!
      Yes, H1B abuse almost killed diversity in corporate world and led to corruption during hiring process!
      Noticably, H1B folks do not diversify even during the lunch breaks – they eat together only, so they won’t need to explain how did they get the job!

      • You misunderstand the concept of “diversity” as it is widely used. “Diversity” means “no whites”, not something “including whites”. From that point of view, the H1B program was a great success.

        • You are probably right, John, because my job was outsourced, but that hapless Sr. SAS Programmer stayed with the company making her $85-$90K. My attempts to move to another department for open position did not work, by the same reason – they probably reserved it for the next hapless Sr. SAS Programmer. I founded my own consulting and run it since 2008 without use of H1Bs. Why someone has decide if I can continue as IT Pro or not? Screw H1B abusers!

  6. Unfortunately, politics does play into this because the H1b & L1 visa programs have a super political leaning. We all know this. So, shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone!

    The number of tech jobs ARE impacted by primarily Indian companies AND look at the number of people from India that have started recruiting and staffing operations here in the US.

    I don’t know about you, but I get many calls per day from Indian recruiters. In fact, 90% of contractor related calls I get are from either India or Indian recruiters and staffing firms located in the United States.

    SO, WE MUST ACCOUNT FOR THE IMPACT OF FOREIGN INFLUENCE ON THESE TECH JOB NUMBERS.

    OH, AND YES, IT IS UNFORTUNATELY POLITICAL!!!

  7. I agree with Elena. I doubt you would have said of President Obama, “Thanks Baracko Buddy, Natey. Keep your writing professional, and address the president as President Trump. This is a professional job forum, not your political agenda, Dude.

  8. Hey Nate,
    Your bias is very evident. Either that or you weren’t taught that a 3.7% unemployment rate is pretty much frictional.
    You obviously don’t like the President, but spare us your slightly masked opinion. We hear it all the time from other venues and it’s as tiresome there as it is in your article.

  9. Folks,
    Keeping politics aside, the s/w job market is just awesome. Recruiters don’t let me stay in a job even for one year. I’m like, what’s going on here … !!!
    Oh, forgot to mention, I know devops, java, angular, python, c#, react, databases, nosqls, linux, security … list is long.
    Forgot another thing – I’m 54 with grey hair and wrinkly face, and very dark skin.

    So, anybody whining here, shut the f up and get some s/w training and the companies will be crazy after you.

    Good luck.

  10. One of the greatest pieces of economic wisdom is to know what you do not know.

    In economics, the majority is always wrong.

    Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.

    The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.

    There are times in politics when you must be on the right side and lose.

    Meetings are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.
    John Kenneth Galbraith
    ——-

    That’s all ……The economists are in their daily meetings …..
    New “facts/forecasting” are comming …..

  11. BC Shelby

    …the downside however is not everyone is cut out for working in the tech industry. Working in tech requires a certain level of mathematical and scientific aptitude. If everyone had that, tech companies would be flooded with resumes. Furthermore working in the industry pretty much requires specialised education, usually at the least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, which for many is an expensive undertaking that can wind up putting them deep in debt from having to take out educational loans.

    Also, if you are an older individual, the tech industry is one of the worst when it comes to ageism. As pensions vanish and saving for retirement has become difficult due to chronic low wages in non professional positions, Social Security is not enough to make up the difference. Hence many older folks, even in their 60s and beyond, find they must keep working to not end up living under a bridge or sleeping in a doorway. Tech related occupations would be ideal as it doesn’t involve the physical demands that many older people are no longer able to meet. However, again there is the training issue and it’s cost along with a slimmer chance of being hired because of one’s age.

  12. Message for HR , Whenever They hired :-
    1. Take technical interview “FACE TO FACE” only. You will avoid 80% of fake H1B holders. ( No Technical interview on phone / skype )

    Message for companies those are checking the “Background” of the candidates.

    • H1B visa holder arrived in the United States in 2018 and his resume showing 10 years’ experience in US as senior IT Professional. His/Her age is 25 /30 so it means, in the age of 20/15 they have completed their graduation and started as senior IT Professional Job as well …WAO 
    • Their resume showing they worked for 2/3 companies as a contingent worker [Example:- resume showing person work for IBM, Bank of America and Google as a contingent worker of XYZ Technologies & ABC.com ]so when background checking companies are checking background they only relay on “EMAIL REPLY” / Phone calls of the 2/3 companies [XYZ.. and ABC..](Those companies owner is same indeed). No one knows this secret [That’s why they have always lunch together because this is a first lesson they learn from their recruiting companies ‘ try to avoid all experienced team mates’ and always “ACCEPT” any task at work and bring they laptop at home , your experienced roommate or your support person (which they provide to fake candidate) will finish your task so after 2 months you will understand the infrastructure of the company …… ]
    • This is how H1B holders are starting their career in US
    IF HR and recruiting American companies follow my instructions, I can bet more Americans will start getting jobs.

  13. fawn liebowitz

    Grow up.
    You can finally have you CHOICE of jobs in a terrible financial state like Illinois. If only we didn’t have idiots in charge making every effort to stop productivity, we’d be in even better shape.

    Your politics are pathetic.
    I’m so sorry I clicked on this and actually wasted my life reading it.