Tech industry news: Job gains, layoffs and Microsoft CEO’s concerns


Read CompTIA’s analysis of a recent tech jobs report, and learn Satya Nadella’s predictions about the next two years in the industry.

Image: VAKSMANV/Adobe Stock

Despite layoffs in recent months, technology companies added 17,600 workers in December 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Which tech sectors added jobs?

There were job gains in four of five sector categories, and December was the 25th straight month of net employment growth in the tech industry, according to CompTIA’s analysis of the BLS report. The four sectors that gained jobs in December 2022 are:

  • PC, semiconductor and components manufacturing, with 1,096,100 jobs.
  • Data processing, hosting and related cloud services, with 439,900 jobs.
  • Other information services and search portals, with 444,900 jobs.
  • IT and custom software services/systems design, with 2,461,800 jobs.

Telecommunications — with 657,000 jobs in that sector in December of last year — saw a decline of 2,500 from November.

Employers added an estimated 130,000 tech workers in December, helping to drive down the tech occupations’ unemployment rate to 1.8%, compared to the overall national rate of 3.5%, CompTIA said.

Where are the tech jobs?

Most in-demand tech jobs

Job postings for tech hiring declined for the second consecutive month, but it still totaled more than 246,000 in December.

“Another wave of positive tech employment data speaks to the many moving parts of a complex labor market,” said Tim Herbert, chief research officer at CompTIA, in a statement. “Despite the layoffs, there continue to be more employers hiring tech talent than shedding it.”

Among industry sectors, professional, scientific and technical services (38,654), finance and insurance (33,538) as well as manufacturing (26,763) reported the most activity.

CompTIA’s analysis shows that 30% of all tech jobs postings are for positions in emerging technologies — such as AI — or in roles requiring emerging tech skills. Positions for software developers and engineers accounted for nearly 30% of last month’s jobs postings. IT support specialists, IT project managers, systems engineers and network engineers were also in demand.

Within the tech sector, three occupation categories paced December hiring: IT services and custom software development (+7,200), other information services such as search engines (+6,600), and data processing, hosting and related services (+5,600).

Cities and states with the most tech jobs postings

Washington, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas led the list of metro markets with the highest volumes of tech jobs postings, while the cities of Richmond, Virginia, Tallahassee, Florida, Lansing, Michigan and Las Vegas recorded the largest month-over-month increases in employer job postings, according to CompTIA.

The top states for AI job postings in December were California, Virginia, Texas, Massachusetts and New York — with the exception of Virginia, the other four states showed a decline in AI jobs postings from November.

What about layoffs in tech?

Recent layoff announcements by technology companies may not show up immediately in government reports, such as Friday’s BLS “Employment Situation” report, CompTIA cautioned.

Last week, Salesforce announced it plans to reduce its workforce by 10%, or roughly 7,000 employees. The company is also going to close some of its offices. In addition, Amazon has said it too will cut 18,000 jobs starting next week, which is about 6% of the company’s 300,000 total workforce. Other tech companies that have laid off staff include Meta, Cisco and Twitter.

The news isn’t all bad: Amazon’s AWS cloud business plans to add new employees this year, despite the layoffs across the larger organization, and AI software firm Aisera announced plans to add 40 to 50 new hires in the first quarter of 2023.

Microsoft’s Nadella predicts a bumpy road for tech

Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella issued a note of caution last week, saying the tech sector should be prepared for two more bumpy years before it can see growth again. In October 2022, Microsoft announced plans to lay off workers.

Over the long term, Nadella said, growth prospects for tech companies will be strong thanks to emerging technologies like AI.

The current downturn the tech industry is feeling is happening because the demand spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic has begun to taper off. Couple with a recession in several parts of the world, this has resulted in a “normalization,” according to Nadella.



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