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Job Growth Up, Unemployment Down. What Does it Mean for MSPs?

Red man comes out of structure of people. Integrity violation, non-conformist. Dismissal. Dismissal from the company. Expulsion from society. Different from others. Overflow. Exit, leave, renounce.

Think the big tech layoffs were a harbinger of what’s to come? You may want to think again after taking a look at U.S. hiring numbers in January, which jumped to 517,000. The unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, the lowest rate in 50 years, according to a report from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Those job growth numbers are a lot higher than what economists expected, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which said the economists it surveyed had estimated that employers added 187,000 jobs in January.

According to a Bloomberg report based on an examination of public filings, corporations were far more likely to have boosted headcouns than to have cut employees.

Average hourly earnings grew by 4.4% in January from the same period last year, and that was down from 4.8% in December. Wage increases seem to be slowing down gradually.

But what did that mean for tech?

Payrolls continued to grow in the sector of professional and business services–up by 82,000. This was led by gains in professional, scientific and technical services, up 41,000. The Labor Department further noted that job growth in professional and business services averaged 63,000 per month in 2022.

A more granular analysis from industry organization CompTIA showed that tech sector companies shed 1,600 jobs in January and technology occupations throughout the economy declined by 32,000 for the month, representing a decline of 0.5%. But the tech unemployment rate also fell to 1.5%, indicating that many laid-off workers were re-hired and absorbed back into the labor market, CompTIA said. Information services, search portals, and platforms businesses showed an increase of 900 jobs and IT and custom software services and system design showed an increase of 600 jobs during January.

In addition, most of the job role postings watched by CompTIA saw increases in January including IT support specialist, IT project manager, and network engineer.“The low unemployment rate and steady hiring activity by employers confirms the long-term demand for tech talent across many sectors of the economy,” said Tim Herbert, chief research officer, CompTIA, in a prepared statement.

Jessica C. Davis

Jessica C. Davis is editorial director of CyberRisk Alliance’s channel brands, MSSP Alert, MSSP Alert Live, and ChannelE2E. She has spent a career as a journalist and editor covering the intersection of business and technology including chips, software, the cloud, AI, and cybersecurity. She previously served as editor in chief of Channel Insider and later of MSP Mentor where she was one of the original editors running the MSP 501.