The U.S. tech industry grew by 1.9%, or nearly 119,000 jobs, in the first six months of 2014, employing 6.3 million people as of June 2014. This is slightly higher than the 1.8% growth during the same period in 2013.
R&D, testing and engineering services experienced the fastest employment growth rate of all tech sectors in the first half of 2014, expanding by 3.2%, or adding about 54,100 jobs.
IT services added 36,000 employees in the first six months of 2014 and 63,100 from June 2013 to June 2014, for a total of 1.9 million jobs. Over the same 12-month period, IT services employment grew by 3.5%, compared with a private sector growth rate of 2.2%.
The telecommunications sector, including traditional wired and wireless carriers and their associated services, as well as ISPs, Web search portals, hosting and related data services, experienced job growth of 1.5% during the first six months of 2014.
The shift to on-demand services models such as software-as-a-service (SaaS), IT infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and managed IT services, helped generate 35,100 new jobs during the first half of 2014 in the area of computer system design and related services that support many of the on-demand services.
Software publishers continued their hiring trend, adding 6,000 jobs in the first half of 2014, delivering 2% growth.
Although the tech sector continued to add jobs over the past 6, 12 and 18 months, the sector’s job growth was slower than the overall private sector. Jobs in the tech industry grew by 1.9%, compared with 3.7% for the private sector in the first half of 2014.
While job growth may be faster in the overall private sector, wages are 98% higher, on average, in the tech industry. The average pay in the tech industry is $93,800, compared with $47,400 in the private sector.
The report quotes data from CompTIA: Six in 10 industry executives indicated that it’s challenging to fill openings for technical positions. CompTIA also found that 33% of executives said their companies were understaffed, while 42% are fully staffed but want to hire workers to expand.
The TechAmerica study cites figures from Burning Glass Technologies: More than 450,000 job postings, including technical and non-technical positions, were made in the tech industry during the first half of 2014. Demand was highest for software talent across all segments of the tech sector.