A new U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on jobs and unemployment has some surprising statistics. Though President Trump hinted that job numbers for August were “really good,” the United States didn’t add as many jobs as some had predicted. Tech jobs, however, are doing just fine.
Versus July 2019, the BLS reports, the “computer systems design and related fields” designation gained 10,200 jobs in August. The entire “professional and technical services” field, which computer jobs are categorized under, gained 14,800 jobs. The broader category both are situated in, “professional and business services,” gained a mere 37 jobs month-over-month.
Overall, analysts expected 160,000 new jobs in August 2019, while we got 130,000. The unemployment rate stayed at an impressively low 3.7 percent. It has remained there since June 2019; the last time unemployment was specifically higher was in January, when it hit 4.0 percent.
In its own analysis, CompTIA says the unemployment rate for IT professionals is at 1.5 percent, up slightly from its historic low of 1.3 percent last month. Job losses in tech came mostly from telecommunications (3,600 jobs lost) and “data processing, hosting, and related services” (900 jobs down the drain).
"In contrast to facets of the national labor market, tech hiring continues to deliver both quantity and quality in terms of employment gains," says Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. "Beyond the net new jobs created tech positions pay substantially higher wages on average, offer more career on-ramps for candidates of any background, and more opportunities for advancement."
Last month, Herbert said “there is now the very real prospect of tech worker shortages affecting industry growth,” adding “firms seeking to expand into new areas such as the Internet of Things, robotic process automation or artificial intelligence may be inhibited by a lack of workers with these advanced skills, not to mention shortages in the complementary areas of technology infrastructure and cybersecurity.”
Speaking to us in ALL CAPS from the wilds of Twitter, President Trump said “the women are doing great. Asians also” about the latest jobs report before congratulating us all for... working:
Unfortunately, we don’t know what it all means yet. The labor market may not have grown as much as we’d like, but it did grow. Analysts seem mixed on whether slowed job growth means a recession is near, or if its a natural ebb and flow of a strong economy. Whatever the case, tech is still in great shape.