IT Professionals Facing Unemployment Due to COVID-19 Shutdown

C-level executives say hiring is only taking place for approved positions.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

June 8, 2020

3 Min Read
Unemployed because of COVID-19

More than 116,900 IT professionals lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 shutdown in April and early May.

However, IT pro job losses, for the most part, are over. That’s according to Janco Associates. The shutdown-related losses reduced the IT job market by 99,400 jobs for the year.

Janco has reduced its 2020 forecast for overall tech sector job growth to a little more than 35,000. It reduced its forecast to 40,000 last month.

Many CIOs and CFOs interviewed by Janco said with the existing pace of reopening, civil unrest and the election, normal IT hiring won’t resume until late in the fourth quarter.


Janco’s Victor Janulaitis

“Some of the first individuals being brought back as the U.S. economy reopens are IT pros,” said Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis. “As a result, the IT job market is beginning to stabilize. However, until the public feels they can go back to a normal lifestyle and all companies open their doors, hiring for new positions in IT will be non-existent. Also, the civil unrest will slow confidence by the general public, which in turn, will hinder corporate confidence. Also, It does not help that many retail organizations are evaluating if they will reopen at all in areas that were impacted by the civil unrest.”

Several major companies are resuming existing operations, but are holding back on any expansion until after this fall’s election, he said.

“Work from home (WFH) is the order of the day,” Janulaitis said. “IT professionals already have that capability in over 85% of all organizations that we have reviewed. CIOs are being tasked to have the capability quickly implemented with a robust WFH infrastructure that is not only operational but meets mandated compliance requirements .”

C-level executives say hiring is only taking place for approved positions.

The total IT job market is now over 3.54 million positions in the United States. The number of telecommunications positions continues to erode as more of the functions are impacted by AI, according to Janco.

CompTIA Report Shows Positives Amid Cuts

U.S. employers across the economy increased hiring of technology professionals last month, while at the same time companies within the tech sector reduced their workforces, according to CompTIA.

The unemployment rate for technology occupations fell to 3.7% in May from 4.3% in April. In comparison, national unemployment remains at 13.3% even after falling back by 1.4 percentage points from the previous month.

U.S. employers across the entire economy added about 28,000 technology workers in May. Within the U.S. tech sector, which covers both technical and non-technical business positions, 33,800 jobs were lost.

“While tech industry employment did fall for the month, many of the small and medium-size firms in the expansive tech services and custom software space should resume hiring once business activity picks up,” said Tim Herbert, CompTIA’s executive vice president for research and market intelligence.

New job postings for IT occupations slipped in May, though still totaling more than 220,000 nationally. Software and application developers are in highest demand, with an estimated 69,300 job postings. Companies are also seeking IT support specialists, systems engineers and architects, systems analysts and web developers.

The industries with the most job postings were professional, scientific and technical services, finance and insurance, and manufacturing.

The month-over-month change in the number of job postings was modest across the country. At the state level, Louisiana, Hawaii and Nebraska were the top three states for growth.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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