DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., Jan. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. information technology (IT) companies increased employment by a net 22,200 workers while IT occupations throughout the economy grew by an estimated 391,000 positions in December, an analysis by CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the IT industry and workforce, reveals.
"Tech hiring continues to bring a degree of stability to a still fragile labor market in an incomplete recovery," said Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. "With projections of employer demand for tech talent remaining strong in the year ahead, we hope tech can continue to serve as a catalyst for business and career opportunity."
The tech occupation unemployment rate was 3% in December, compared to 6.7% for the overall economy. Tech unemployment started 2020 at 3% and ranged from a low of 2.4% to a high of 4.6% during the year.
Tech Sector Hiring Led by Services, Software Jobs
December hiring within the IT sector was paced by the addition of 20,300 jobs in the IT services and custom software development category in the employment category, an important indicator of small and medium-size business activity.
Also in positive territory were the categories of data processing, hosting and related services (+ 2,600), computer, electronics and semiconductor manufacturing (+ 1,600) and other information services, including search portals (+ 200). Telecommunications employment declined by 2,500 jobs.
During 2020 the U.S. IT sector recorded six months of employment growth and six months of job losses. IT occupation employment experienced seven months of growth and five months of declines in 2020. Last month's addition of an estimated 391,000 new positions represented the largest monthly gain last year.
Tech Job Postings Up
Another positive sign was a modest increase in the number of employer job postings for core information technology positions, to nearly 207,000 in December. Software and application developer openings accounted for the largest share of the total at 62,900. IT support specialist (18,100), systems engineers and architects (16,600), systems analysts (13,700) and IT project managers (13,500) were also in demand.
Industries with the largest number of tech jobs postings included professional, scientific and technical services (38,215), finance and insurance (18,054), manufacturing (14,872) and information (12,406).
Among metropolitan areas across the country, New York, Seattle, San Jose, Chicago and San Francisco saw the largest month-over-month increase in tech job postings. At the state level, Washington, California, New York, Michigan and Illinois experienced the strongest month-over-month gains.
Employer hiring for emerging tech job roles and skills reached 57,509 for the month, a slight increase from November. As a percentage of overall technology job postings, emtech accounted for 28% in December, up 6 percentage points over the January 2020 rate of 22%.
The CompTIA Tech Jobs Report is available at https://www.comptia.org/content/tech-jobs-report.
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $5 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the estimated 75 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world's economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce. Visit www.comptia.org.
 Monthly occupation-level data reporting from the Bureau of Labor Statistics may be subject to higher levels of variance and volatility.