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CompTIA: Tech Industry Sending Mixed Jobs Signals

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(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

While analysis from CompTIA showed technology industry job growth in June, it was offset by slowdowns in other key employment metrics. The CompTIA July 2024 Tech Jobs report showed that the tech industry added an estimated 7,540 net new workers in June, the biggest monthly increase in 2024, based on analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data.

That positive result, however, was countered by the loss of 22,000 tech occupations throughout the economy as a whole, according to the report. The tech unemployment rate experienced an unexpected jump to 3.7%, moving directionally with the national unemployment rate increase for the month. 

The total base of U.S. tech industry employment stands at approximately 5.6 million workers, and technology services and software development occupations continue to lead new hiring, which is a positive sign for the small and medium-size segment of the sector, CompTIA said. Innovations in AI may be cutting both ways, however, as organizations may see it as either a reason to delay hiring or a reason to increase hiring of talent with AI skills.

“Despite pockets of growth, the recent data indicates a degree of downward pressure on tech employment,“ said Tim Herbert, chief research officer, CompTIA, in a statement about the report. “A combination of factors, including AI FOMO, likely contributes to segments of employers taking a wait-and-see approach with tech hiring.”  

Upskilling the Existing Workforce

Many organizations are focusing on technology upskilling instead, according to new research by SoftwareOne. As Dan Raywood, senior editor at SC Media UK, reported, 97% of companies are prioritizing upskilling, although 50% are struggling to find AI-skilled employees and 53% said they currently have inadequate skills to leverage AI.

“Rapid advancements in AI and generative AI offer exciting prospects for companies worldwide, but organizations are sitting on a ticking talent time bomb if they don’t upskill and retrain their workforces now to fulfill the potential of AI,” Brian Duffy, CEO at SoftwareOne told Raywood.

The SoftwareOne survey also found that 84% of companies perceived IT retention issues as a significant challenge. By focusing on AI as an emerging technology with job growth potential as well as opportunity for those who have augmented their skills with AI, organizations can get an edge in the talent market.

“By putting people at the center and showcasing how these innovations can enhance their roles rather than pose threats, organizations can cultivate a culture of empowerment and optimism that helps to increase retention, boost productivity and make work more meaningful,” Duffy said.   

New employer job postings for tech positions totaled nearly 200,000 in June, down slightly month-over-month. In total there were more than 444,600 active tech job postings for the month and 2.5 million for the year, according to the report.

The “CompTIA Tech Jobs Report” is available at https://www.comptia.org/content/tech-jobs-report.