Tech Hiring Ends First Half of 2013 with Widespread Gains

IT hiring registered its highest net growth in five months, with modest gains in both telecommunications and data processing adding to the 18,200 tech positions brought on by U.S. companies in June, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs figures by IT hiring consultancy Foote Partners.

In the separate federal job segments that represent IT careers, there was a net gain of 18,200 jobs, which was approximately 8,400 more jobs than were added in IT in May and the highest monthly gain since the first month of 2013. Foote Partners put the growth in the first half of 2013 at 43 percent higher than the rate of hiring over the first six months of 2012.

Under management and technical consulting, there were 8,400 new hires in June, more than double the hires registered in May and leading to one of the hottest growth segments for IT and data hiring over the first half of 2013. The other big jobs gainer, computer systems design and related services, has been a familiar source of IT hiring in 2013. That segment put up 7,300 new jobs in June, and Foote Partners counts nearly 31,000 jobs added in that segment since the start of the year.

After four straight months of declines in hiring related to data processing and hosting, June registered 1,800 new hires in the segment, which has been up and down since 2011. The fourth federal segment that covers IT and data jobs, telecommunications, continued its upward hiring swing ever so slightly, with 700 new jobs. Every month in 2013 has ended with a gain in telecommunications, after tens of thousands of lost jobs and even a temporary strike over the past 30 months. In its analysis, Foote remained cautious on telecommunications gains as “wireless computing platforms continue to flourish.”

Overall with U.S. hiring, there were approximately 195,000 jobs added for the month, though unemployment continues to hover around 7.6 percent. BLS analysis attributed the stagnant unemployment rate to more of the general workforce accepting part-time and temporary employment. Numbers for long-term unemployed or marginally attached workers stayed about the same in June compared with past months, while the number of “discouraged workers” – those who’ve looked but believe there is no solid career prospect out there for them – ballooned five-fold from last year to 1 million. Along with summer and seasonal hiring in other industries, June also marks the end of a fiscal quarter for most businesses.

David Foote, chief analyst at Foote Partners, wrote that a mix of tech needs and momentum that first resulted in U.S. IT hiring in force in October 2012 should continue to be a source of job growth through 2013.

“While the pace of job creation in the national labor force appears stuck at 7.6 percent unemployment and new jobs are heavily in part-time positions and low wage full-time segments, IT jobs have been on a sustained growth upswing and wages are holding steady if not growing slightly. The bottom line is there is optimism for IT workers based on positive momentum that started in October and has been running through the first six months of 2013.”

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