In November 2008, two months after Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and Hewlett-Packard announced plans to lay off some 25,000 workers, IT employment reached 4 million for the first time.
From that point on, the economy worsened rapidly and companies rapidly shed jobs . By mid-2009, nearly 200,000 IT jobs disappeared.
The recession was particularly hard on older IT workers. For women in IT, age 55 and above, the unemployment rate hit 9.4 percent last year.
TechServe Alliance, an industry group of service companies that analyzes U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, said Monday that IT employment has finally returned, surpassing the November 2008, 4 million high point for the first time.
The new record came in February, but wasn't known until this month following a subsequent and routine revision of BLS data, according to Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe. "I think [4 million IT jobs] is an important psychological milestone," he said.
Roberts said TechServe Alliance has seen strong demand from IT staffing firms, typically a bellwether for broader IT hiring.
"I would characterize demand for IT professionals as very strong," said Roberts. "Given the severity of the recession, many projects were shelved, hiring was severely constrained, layoffs were commonplace."
IT employment, now at 4,009,900 jobs, has increased for 16 straight months, he added.
Private-sector employment rose by 179,000 in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the national employment report released today by Automatic Data Processing Inc. (NYSE: ADP). Today’s report indicates labor market conditions continued to improve in April, but only at a moderate pace.
Employment in the service-providing sector rose by 138,000 in April, the segment’s 16th consecutive monthly gain, according to the report. The goods-producing sector added 41,000 jobs.
“Today’s ADP National Employment Report shows that labor market conditions continued to improve in April, but only at a moderate pace,” said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, which developed and maintains the monthly report. “Employment in the nonfarm private-business sector rose 179,000 from March to April on a seasonally adjusted basis, which is close to consensus expectations both for today’s report and for Friday’s jobs number from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
The ADP report is derived from a sample of approximately 340,000 U.S. business clients representing more than 21 million U.S. employees.