US technology employers reported the highest total workforce headcount with 40,000 new tech roles added to the nation’s workforce during the first two months of 2020, making it the best hiring start since 2017, according to the CompTIA report, “IT Employment Tracker,” which also showed an expansion of 11,500 tech jobs.

However, a CompTIA spokesperson expressed caution in upcoming numbers, due to the coronavirus’ effect on the tech industry. “There is still much uncertainty about the short- and long-term impact on economic growth and employment.” Comp TIA is the trade association for the global informational technology (IT) industry.

But February marked the second month of technology employment growth, which contributed to an increase of 273,000 non-farm employment, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. The IT unemployment rate in February was 2.4%, nearly identical to February 2019 (2.3%).

See: How to maintain safe cybersecurity practices while transitioning workers from the office to remote workstations (TechRepublic)

The majority of February job gains—approximately 7,800 added positions—were from the hiring of IT services, custom software development and computer design professionals.

Other areas of job growth were in the following areas (numbers refer to postings):

  • Search engines and portals (+ 2,800)

  • Computer and electronics product manufacturing (up +1,900)

Hiring was unchanged in data processing, hosting and related services, but telecommunications positions declined by 1,000 from January 2020 to February 2020.

Approximately 44% of positions within the IT sector are IT occupations, and the remaining 56% of occupations in the IT sector are jobs in sales, marketing, finance, human resources, research and development and related positions.

Computer, electronics and semiconductor manufacturing among top performers

The report defined the following departments as the IT sector employment breakout:

  • Computer, electronics and semiconductor manufacturing

  • Telecommunications

  • Data processing, hosting and related services

  • Other informational services, including search portals

  • IT and software services/computer systems design

The report also listed the top five occupation job postings, representing 179,200 postings:

  1. Software developers, applications

  2. IT user support specialists

  3. Systems engineers/architects

  4. Systems analysts

  5. IT project managers

“With net job gains of 33,500 positions through the first two months of 2020, this is the best start to the year for the tech sector since 2017,” said Tim Hebert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA, in a press release. “However, we must acknowledge the possibility of a hiring lull due to the uncertainty many employers are facing.”

Software and app developer jobs in demand

While the number of employer postings for core IT positions declined by an estimated 68,986 from January to February of this year, there was certainly an impressive number of positions available.

Top five in-demand positions companies were looking to fill:

  1. Software and app developers

  2. IT user support specialists

  3. Systems engineers and architects

  4. Systems analysts

  5. IT project managers

Top states for IT job postings

CompTIA’s report also looked at various breakdowns for jobs, focusing on states, metro areas, employers (companies), and industries, comparing numbers in January to February 2020.

Top states for IT job postings:

  1. California

  2. Texas

  3. Virginia

  4. New York

  5. Florida

  6. Massachusetts

  7. North Carolina

  8. Illinois

  9. Georgia

  10. Pennsylvania

Top states for IT job postings change (number of postings change from January to February 2020):

  1. Massachusetts (+2,079)

  2. New Hampshire (+1,210)

  3. Connecticut (+354)

  4. Rhode Island (+251)

  5. Alabama (+120)

  6. Maine (+97)

  7. Kansas (+48)

  8. Vermont (+1)

  9. South Dakota (-13)

  10. West Virginia (-14)

Top metro areas for IT job postings count:

  1. New York City

  2. Washington DC

  3. Dallas

  4. Los Angeles

  5. San Francisco

  6. Boston

  7. Chicago

  8. San Jose

  9. Atlanta

  10. Seattle

Of the top metro areas, only Chicago saw an increase in postings (+1,255 postings), all other locations saw less job postings ranging from Seattle (-1,474 postings) to Washington DC (-5,407 postings).

The top metro areas for IT job postings change were

  1. Boston

  2. Worcester

  3. Providence

  4. Huntsville

  5. Hartford

  6. Richmond

  7. Birmingham

Overall, the report also examined general employment related areas, including the top employers:

  1. Deloitte

  2. Anthem Blue Cross

  3. Wells Fargo

  4. IBM

  5. PricewaterhouseCoopers

  6. Northrop Grumman

  7. Accenture

  8. Lockheed Martin Corporation

  9. Amazon

  10. Stanley Black & Decker

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