Employers across the U.S. economy shed an estimated 90,000 core technology jobs in September, reversing IT employment gains from the previous month, while job postings for tech positions continued to decline, CompTIA reports.
Amid the broader declines, hiring within the tech sector picked up, following a downturn in August, with tech employers adding an estimated 5,900 new positions last month, the IT trade group said.
The results are based on an analysis of Labor Department jobs data released Friday, showing total U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 134,000 in September, the smallest gain in a year.
The overall downturn may partially reflect the impact of Hurricane Florence, which led to slower hiring in some sectors, The Wall Street Journal reported, adding that it may also signal growing challenges for some employers to fill jobs.
The upturn in tech-sector hiring last month was driven by strong demand for workers in IT services, custom software development and computer system design, Comptia said.
Other positive job categories included computer and electronic products manufacturing, and data processing, hosting and related services.
Despite declines in August, the IT industry overall has added an estimated 67,000 jobs since January.
Outside the tech sector, employers have cut IT positions in five of nine months through September, CompTIA said.
All told, the unemployment rate for IT occupations last month dropped to 2%, from 2.8% a year earlier, it said.
Tim Herbert, the group’s senior vice president for research and market intelligence, said the low unemployment rate, along with transitions underway at most enterprises to newer technologies and other external economic and policy factors, is causing “mixed signals in the employment data,” according to a statement.
Across the board, job posting for IT occupations fell by an estimated 2,700 from August, despite growing demand for software positions, IT support specialists and systems engineers.
Hiring around cybersecurity is also a bright spot, Comptia said, with U.S. employers posting more than 103,000 job openings so far this year, up 30% from the same period a year ago.