IT Employment Declines Markedly in May, Though Continues to Show More Resilience than Overall Job Market

Alexandria, VA, June 10, 2020 – In May, IT employment declined markedly by 1.63% to 5,211,500 jobs, according to TechServe Alliance, the national trade association of the IT & Engineering Staffing and Solutions industry. On a year-over-year basis, IT employment dropped by 2.52% since May 2019 shedding 134,700 IT workers.

Engineering employment increased by 0.21 percent sequentially to 2,500,800, after a precipitous drop in April by 6.5%. On a year-over-year basis, engineering employment decreased by 5.43% since May 2019 or a loss of 143,600 engineering workers.

I T and engineering employment  index

“As predicted last month, IT employment declined markedly in May by 1.63%. We did not see a month-over-month decline of this magnitude throughout the Great Recession. You have to go back over 15 years – during the recession that followed 9/11, the dot-com bubble and Y2K hangover, where IT employment contracted at these levels in a single month,” observed Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance. “Despite the precipitous drop in May, the Y-O-Y decline of 2.5% continues to reflect the sector’s overall resilience when compared to the total workforce which is down at least 11.7% on a Y-O-Y basis (the reported uptick in May in overall employment has been challenged by many observers who question BLS’s methodology). Given that there was a long-standing labor shortage in IT preceding the COVID-19 induced decline, IT employment will fare far better than most other sectors in the inevitable recovery,” added Roberts.

The following table presents information about the total number of jobs in certain sectors that provide a significant amount of employment for IT and engineering professionals.

Comparisons of TechServe Alliance's IT Employment Index to employment in some key sectors with significant numbers of IT jobs as well as to all non-farm jobs


Technical note: TechServe Alliance’s IT Employment Index and Engineering Employment Index are the first specific measurements of IT and engineering employment. These unique measurements of total IT and engineering employment are created monthly by studying the ongoing staffing patterns of a dozen IT and computer related occupations in 22 industries and industry sectors employing significant numbers of IT workers and nearly two dozen engineering occupations in 30 select industries and industry sectors employing significant numbers of engineering workers. Both the monthly IT Employment and Engineering Employment Indices are based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, which is subject to monthly revisions, and is revised accordingly. Both indices are also subject to periodic revisions and annual rebenchmarking that includes revisions to several years of employment data, which also may incorporate new occupational definitions. Both indices were re-benchmarked going back several years starting with January 2019 data and published in February 2019. In addition, both indices are subject to minor revisions to March and April data. The next major revision will be published in February 2020.

ABOUT TechServe Alliance
TechServe Alliance is the national trade association of the IT & Engineering staffing and solutions industry. Hundreds of IT & Engineering staffing and solutions firms and tens of thousands of affiliated professionals, count on TechServe Alliance to keep their leadership informed, engaged and connected. TechServe Alliance serves as the voice of the industry before the policymakers and the national and trade press. By providing access to the knowledge and best practices of an entire industry and tapping the “collective scale” of hundreds of companies, TechServe Alliance supports its members in the efficient delivery of best-in-class IT & Engineering staffing and solutions for clients and exceptional professional opportunities for every consultant.

DPP® is a member of TechServe Alliance.

© 2020 by TechServe Alliance. All rights reserved.
This article is reproduced with permission from TechServe Alliance. The views represented in this article are not necessarily the views of DP Professionals, Inc. 

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