Industry Wrap: Insights From the 2023 BLS Employment Report 

Industry Wrap: Insights From the 2023 BLS Employment Report 

Leaders must keep up with the latest tools and systems in today’s fast-changing tech world. The 2023 BLS Employment Report shows that technology is advancing rapidly, and what used to be a good choice for businesses is now a must-have.

As a company looking to ensure a successful 2024, what could you do to remain competitive in your industry? You need to know the past year’s trends and statistics relevant to your field. This article discusses the importance of staying updated with the newest tech, tools, and systems. It’s the essential solution for organizations that want to thrive in 2024’s dynamic landscape and beyond.

 

2023 BLS Employment Report Summary 

Despite a notable increase of 517,000 non-farm jobs at the start of the year, the labor market still holds potential for further expansion. The October 2023 BLS jobs report indicates an additional 150,000 nonfarm payroll employments.¹

Interestingly, the rise in employment across private and government sectors did not prevent a simultaneous increase in the unemployment rate. The report highlights a 0.5% uptick, resulting in an American unemployment rate of 3.9% as of October 2023, equating to 6.5 million unemployed individuals.

Turning attention to Computer and Information Technology occupations, BLS projects an annual availability of 377,500 job openings from 2022 to 2032. This is in addition to the 2,666,140 employees recorded in 2021.²

These numbers and predictions show a few upward directions for employment growth in IT-related fields. As industry leaders, this can mean great things in 2024 if the right actions are taken.

 

Trends and Shifts in the IT Job Market 

Given the latest tech tools at your disposal, there is a change in the skills being sought after in the IT market. While proficiency in coding languages was once a significant advantage, today’s tech landscape calls for a broader skill set. The following are examples of skills IT companies have recently looked for:

  • Knowledge of Cloud Computing platforms like Azure and Google Cloud
  • Mastery in ensuring network security and threat prevention
  • Adept in leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning in finishing their responsibilities
  • Skills in using and developing the Internet of Things (IoT) in current roles.
  • Proficiency in using UX/UI design principles to develop customer and client experience.

Read More: On-Demand: 6 Best IT Skills to Have in 2024 

As the IT landscape evolves, new skills bring forth emerging roles in the field. Even if your organization doesn’t currently require these positions, familiarizing yourself with them can be advantageous. This knowledge ensures preparedness and agility for situations where these roles might prove valuable. Here are examples of these emerging roles:

  • Edge Computing Engineer – Specializing in optimizing and managing computing resources, these professionals ensure real-time data processing closer to the source. For instance, they deploy systems that process data from IoT devices on the factory floor in real-time. This enhances operational efficiency by reducing latency, ensuring swift decision-making, and minimizing downtime.
  • Specialists in AI Ethics – With the expansion of the IT landscape, these specialists reinforce the ethical development and usage of new tech tools like AI. They address biases, promote proper usage, and attend to privacy concerns, such as ensuring fair and unbiased algorithms and promoting responsible AI usage.
  • Automation Consultant – Experts in advising and implementing solutions for automation within business processes. They also identify ways to use technology and automation to streamline operations.
  • AR/VR Developer – These professionals focus on creating interactive experiences using augmented and virtual reality. They are the experts in developing AR and VR tools that companies can benefit from.
  • Cybersecurity Experts – This role safeguards digital networks and systems from outside threats such as hacking and phishing. They are experts in using tools and strategies to protect a company’s data.

 

How to Improve Acquisition & Retention Efforts 

When acquiring talent and retaining employees, it’s important to consider emerging roles and trends. A company that struggles to remain up to date will find it challenging to align its recruitment efforts to the job market’s demands.

Here are six tips for improving your talent acquisition and retention efforts based on the latest labor statistics and the IT industry’s current landscape.

 

1. Clearly define your open roles.

As new roles increase with the rise of trends and tech tools, just stating the job title may not be sufficient. There’s no guarantee everyone knows what that title means.

To improve your talent acquisition effort, you must define what the job entails. Clearly outline the responsibilities that come with the role along with the skills requirements. This ensures mutual understanding and aligns expectations from the start.

Read More: A CIO’s Guide to Hiring: 20 Questions to Ask to Hire the Best IT Talent 

 

2. Leverage tech tools in recruiting.

You can utilize technology to improve your recruitment efforts, like how you use tech tools in your working processes. Save time and enhance the efficiency of candidate selection using the latest innovations available to you.

For example, you can use AI tools for applicant tracking. You can also program chatbots to provide automated answers to candidates’ frequent questions. This would ensure timely responses and an improved overall candidate experience.

 

3. Open flexible working arrangements.

The current work landscape is no longer confined to the four walls of an office. Thanks to the popularity of remote and hybrid work, company leaders have found that people can still be productive in their homes. Many workers also prefer to work remotely, even for just a few days of the week.

Considering this data, opening flexible working arrangements would give you an edge over companies that offer strictly on-site positions in the competitive job market.

CIOs can tap into the potential for increased productivity and innovation among their teams. Remote and hybrid work environments often foster a sense of autonomy and creativity, enabling technology leaders to drive innovative solutions.

Meanwhile, flexible work arrangements empower consultants to choose environments that suit their work styles, potentially leading to heightened creativity and problem-solving abilities.

 

4. Offer competitive compensation.

Aside from working arrangements, proper compensation is also one of the top considerations of candidates when choosing companies to work for. Compared to previous years, professionals are now more aware of their value and want to join organizations that recognize and appreciate their capabilities.

Fair compensation is a key element in retaining skilled consultants. Recognizing and rewarding their expertise prevents talent attrition and fosters loyalty. Regularly updating compensation packages based on industry research and standards demonstrates strategic decision-making. CIOs can position their organizations as market leaders, reinforcing the company’s commitment to valuing its workforce.

For consultants, fair pay signifies a commitment to their contributions, promoting job satisfaction and motivation. You can also conduct your own surveys and research to find out the best salary range within your location, industry, or specialization.

 

5. Foster a healthy work environment.

Attracting candidates and retaining employees goes beyond monetary compensation. Aside from paying people enough, you also need to put in the effort to foster a healthy environment for them to work in.

Create a community within your office that supports its members. Advocate for work-life balance and holistic health for your employees. Be open to feedback and concerns to show that collaboration and communication are welcomed within your company. You improve your company’s overall success and branding by carefully fostering a good work environment.

 

6. Develop possible career paths.

Based on the trends within the IT industry, change is constantly occurring. From innovations in tech tools to shifts in the labor market, improvement is always constant. The same goes for the careers of the employees and candidates you meet.

Based on a study in 2021, the top two highest reasons for resignations in the U.S. are improper compensation and zero opportunities for career advancement.³

To make your candidate search more successful, make sure to outline possible career paths within your organization. You can showcase these paths on your company website or be prepared to discuss them with candidates.

Providing clear opportunities for skill development captures potential hires’ interest and contributes to retaining your current employees. This ensures your organization remains attractive to professionals while fostering your existing team member’s growth and satisfaction.

Read More: Out of Goodbyes: 8 Key Reasons Why Employees Leave 

 

References 

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The Employment Situation – October 2023.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3 Nov. 2023, www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf.

2 Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Computer and Information Technology Occupations.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nov. 2023, www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm.

3 Parker, Kim, and Juliana M. Horowitz. “Majority of Workers Who Quit a Job in 2021 Cite Low Pay, No Opportunities for Advancement, Feeling Disrespected.” Pew Research Center, 9 Mar. 2022, https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2022/03/09/majority-of-workers-who-quit-a-job-in-2021-cite-low-pay-no-opportunities-for-advancement-feeling-disrespected/.

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