Hiring at US technology companies reaches near two-year high

Tech firms in the US added around 26,800 workers in August, the largest monthly gain in such jobs since November 2018, says CompTIA.

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Image: iStockphoto/Chalirmpoj Pimpisarn

Technology companies in the United States have been on a hiring spree, according to industry trade association CompTIA. In August, tech firms added around 26,800 workers in both technical and non-technical roles, as cited in the "Employment Situation" report recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's the largest monthly gain in jobs at such employers since November 2018. For the year as a whole, tech industry hiring has increased by more than 120,000 positions.

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Job postings for open technology positions are also on the rise. Such posts jumped past 321,000 in August, with 30% of them involving emerging technology, CompTIA said in a new tech jobs report. Three out of ten job postings were for positions in emerging technologies or jobs that required emerging tech skills.

The hiring was a welcome counterbalance to weaker payroll growth and slower tech employment in other industries. IT jobs across all sectors of the U.S. economy fell by 334,000 in August. This decline could be due to higher levels of volatility in the BLS's monthly reporting. Another factor may be that uncertainty over the delta variant of COVID-19 impacted hiring for tech jobs in certain sectors, according to CompTIA.

Overall, the unemployment rate for technology occupations is still at a very low 1.5% compared with the national rate of 5.2%.

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Image: CompTIA

"There are a number of positives in this month's Jobs Report with tech sector hiring, a falling unemployment rate and strong employer hiring activity for tech talent," Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA, said in a press release. "The offsetting dip in tech hiring in some areas of the economy is a potential cause for concern but could also be a momentary pause in an otherwise upward trending tech hiring curve."

All five categories in the tech sector enjoyed an increase in hiring in August. The category of data processing, hosting and related services witnessed the biggest gain with 11,900 new jobs. Next, IT services and custom software development saw 9,800 new hires. The search engine category helped itself with 3,500 new jobs, followed by computer and electronic products manufacturing with 1,400 new positions and telecommunications with a more modest 200.

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Looking at the hiring activity for the five top tech roles, software and application developers came in first in August with 96,900 new jobs. Emerging tech and data was second with 87,400 new jobs, followed by IT support specialists with 27,300, web developers with 20,300, and systems analysts with 20,000.

The top states for tech job postings last month were California, Texas, Florida, New York and Virginia. The top cities or metropolitan regions were New York, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Los Angeles and Chicago. And the top employers were Deloitte, Amazon, Humana, Anthem Blue Cross and Accenture.

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By Lance Whitney

Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.