The overall U.S. unemployment rate may be down, but that hasn’t translated into good news for IT workers seeking a position. Although the economy added some 113,000 jobs in January, the IT hiring picture has all but ground to a halt. If anything, it’s drifting backward, with 1,400 IT jobs lost in January.
Janco Associates, which tracks IT hiring in the United States, released its analysis of the January employment picture for IT, and the picture’s uniformly bleak.
Janco began warning of a bad year ahead for IT workers after it spoke early last month to more than 100 CIOs across the industry and found they were all either in a holding pattern or cutting back as far as hiring went.
That picture is unchanged in the latest such poll by Janco, and the rest of its statistics remain downbeat as well. Apart from a spike of some 37,800 hires in November, probably due to seasonal work, the number of new IT jobs never exceeded 11,200 for any month in 2013. Worse, the overall participation of workers in the labor force hit a low of less than 63 percent in December — the lowest since the 1970s — and lifted barely half a percentage point in January.
It’s also worth noting that some 80 percent of that decline over the past two years has been due to retirement, where people opt to simply leave the workforce and draw Social Security or a pension rather than continuing to look for work. But new job positions are not being added in the wake of many of those departures.