The January Jobs Report and the Future of IT Employment

February 7th, 2014 | Articles, Hiring Resources, Industry News, Job Search, Press Releases and Industry News | No Comments »

January jobs report 2014 IT employment

The January Jobs Report is out. Although the numbers were not as expected, economists do see a decent amount to look forward to in the coming months. The IT sector did not see a major shift in its numbers, but there is still much to look forward to in 2014.

The Numbers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers added a total of 113,000 jobs in January – a solid increase over the 75,000 (revised up from 74,000) hired in December of last year – but still short of the 180,000 predicted by economists. The numbers show a boost in the private sector, as 142,000 jobs were added in total. This implies a definite reduction of about 29,000 public sector jobs.

The unemployment rate fell from 6.7 percent to 6.6 percent, continuing the downward trend that has persisted over the past couple of months. While this trend is generally associated with workers dropping out of the hunt completely, that doesn’t appear to be the case in January.

For the first time in several months, the labor participation rate saw increase (62.8 percent to 63.0 percent). Economists are surely hopeful that this trend will continue as we progress further into 2014.

How the IT sector fared

Data processing, hosting, and related services saw an increase of 1,800 jobs (slightly up from December’s 1,700). Telecommunications took a big hit at the start the year, dropping 10,200 jobs in January (down from 4,600 added in December). Finally, computer systems design and related services added a solid 4,700 jobs (doubling December’s number). All in all the numbers add up to a cumulative drop in jobs for the IT sector, but most of the damage was confined to the telecommunications sector. Growth in the other two major sectors bodes well for Q1 of 2014.

Innovation is the name of the game

This year will be a decisive year for many companies in the IT industry. Major industry players are making huge shift towards cloud integration, mobile web browsing, wearable tech, and tablet computing. Add in the prospects of Big Data, Net Neutrality, online privacy, and The Internet of Things and the IT industry is set for a transformative, albeit unpredictable 2014.

By Kevin Withers

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