Consistent with overall employment weakness reflected in the September employment report, the number of information technology (IT) jobs declined 0.48%, or 16,800, in September to 3,518,500. Despite the recent weakness, on a year-over-year basis, IT employment was still up 1.3% from September 2004, according to an index of IT employment developed by the National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses (NACCB), the national trade association representing IT staffing and solutions firms that supply IT professionals.
“Although there is some weakness in overall job growth which has impacted IT, we know that the sector is fundamentally healthy.” said Mark Roberts, NACCB CEO. “We see that businesses continue to improve their productivity through implementation of information technology. When companies do not have the IT skills in-house, they turn to an IT staffing or IT solutions company for those skills.”
Information technology workers are found in almost all industries and sectors. Accordingly, when there is a decline in overall job growth, there will be weakness in IT jobs as well. For example, the gain in employment in the Computer Systems Design and Related Services sector (a sector where a large number of IT workers are employed) in September was not enough to overcome declines in IT jobs in other sectors.
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita had an impact on the employment situation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said that the Katrina caused job losses. “At the national level, these storm related losses may have been offset or exacerbated in some industries by developments in the rest of the country” while the impact of Rita on the jobs was negligible, according to the BLS employment report.