- At the end 2019, before a pandemic swept through the globe, the IT workforce in the United States hit 12.1 million workers, an expansion of 2.3 million jobs over the past decade, according to trade group CompTIA's Cyberstates 2020 report.
- The 2019 numbers contrast with the broader economic downturn happening across the country today. Though unemployment in IT occupations held steady at 2.4% in March, the same as February, IT jobs across all industry sectors shrank by 19,000 in March, according to a previous CompTIA report.
- Tech workers comprise 7.7% of the country's workforce, with median wages for tech occupations nearly doubling the median national wage, according to the trade group. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia added IT jobs in 2019.
Tech has become a powerhouse in recent years — for the economy and the national workforce.
While all analysis of the business world prior to the novel coronavirus pandemic seem outdated, a snapshot of employment at the close of 2019 will prove critical in assessing the pandemic's long-term impact on the tech sector.
One key change impacting what IT employment will look like in the coming months are shifting budget priorities. A growing number of CFOs — 67%, up from just one-third in mid-March, according to PwC — say planned investments in facilities and technology are likely to be deferred or canceled as the pandemic hits revenue forecasts.
But a strong industry performance in recent years could help offset the long-term impacts of an economic contraction.
Between 2016 and 2018, the software industry grew at twice the pace of overall U.S. employment, according to a report from Software.org and The Economist Intelligence Unit.
In the context of a pandemic-driven economic contraction, watching the trend lines of IT sector employment can help assess what kind of impact lies ahead for the national economy.
Software and web developers jobs specifically swelled by 4.3% year-over-year, totaling 1.6 million positions in 2019. Other roles contributing to the expansion include IT support specialist positions, which grew by 3% to more than 664,000 workers; and systems and cybersecurity analysts, which expanding 2.6%, to more than 740,000.