With more than 650,000 tech professionals in computer systems design and related services, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, California, Virginia, Texas, New York and Florida are the nation's leading players when it comes to IT employment, adding 15,000 positions this year alone. However, a slew of up-and-coming states, such as Massachusetts, Oregon, Maryland, Utah and Minnesota, are among online IT recruitment sites on career Website Dice's list of players to watch.
With 6 percent growth in the number of jobs created this year in computer systems design and related services, Maryland tops the list of up-and-comers as local hospitals, biotechnology and health care services companies boost demand for qualified tech professionals, offsetting concerns at defense firms about the looming fiscal cliff and its impact on future employment. Massachusetts followed with 5.5 percent growth, and recruitment activity remains strong. Tech professionals will find more than 3,500 Massachusetts-based job postings on any given day, up 12 percent year-over-year, according to the Dice report.
Minnesota, which placed fifth on the list, with 4.2 percent growth, has given the state s technology association the goal to make it one of the country's top-five technology states by 2020, although it faces heavy competition from Oregon, which placed sixth overall and boasts an average tech salary of greater than $80,000, which is even higher in software and chip development. Although Utah's tech workforce isn t as large as it is in some other states, it is home to a number of tech startups, and the state over-indexes in software at close to 1.5 times the national rate, according to the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development.
The overall unemployment rate for IT professionals stood at 3.1 percent in July, unchanged from June and down from 3.5 percent in May, far below the national unemployment rate and currently at its lowest point so far this year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of Aug. 1, the number of available tech jobs in the United States stood at 84,450 positions, with 52,119 full-time positions, 35,954 contract positions, 1,737 part-time positions and 621 telecommuting positions.
The New York metro area continued to lead as the top tech metro location, with 8,951 available positions, down 5 percent from the same period last year, while the Washington D.C./Baltimore metro area saw a 7 percent uptick in positions and is fast closing in on New York with 8,537 listings. Available jobs in Silicon Valley also jumped 7 percent to reach just under 5,500 positions. Chicago and Los Angeles posted the best growth in the top five metro areas, each rising 9 percent for a total of 3,883 positions and 3,460 positions, respectively.