US IT jobs gain for second month in pandemic recovery

Economic uncertainty is making companies cautious about hiring IT pros, with a full recovery not expected until spring 2021.

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Although the  IT and telecommunications job market in the US is still expected to shrink by 64,000 jobs this year compared to 2019, the recovery of IT jobs lost during the early days of the pandemic continued for a second month. The most recent survey of IT executives by management consultancy Janco Associates shows that about 12,200 IT jobs were added in September following a net gain of 6,900 in August. 

At the outset of the pandemic, more than 105,000 US IT jobs were lost as companies retrenched in the face of COVID-19, more than erasing the 90,200 jobs added in all of 2019. Those losses have been partially addressed since through rehiring and new hires. As a result, over the last nine months, IT jobs were down by 85,000.

However, Janco doesn't forecast a recovery in the IT job marked until spring 2021, as the US economy suffers new waves of infections that slow or even reverse prior gains. In October, an additional wave of IT layoffs is expected as airlines furlough tens of thousands of workers now that federal job subsidies have ended for that industry.

Companies are leery about expanding during uncertainties around government action, particularly the stalled stimulus efforts, said Janco president Victor Janulaitis. The November presidential election is another cause for companies to wait and see. “Spending for IT products and services has all but stopped as companies reevaluate the state of the economy globally as new waves of selected shutdowns occur,” he said.

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