by Brandon Vigliarolo – theregister — A mere 700 IT jobs were added in the US last year compared to 267,000 the year prior, it’s claimed. It’d be easy to blame layoffs, but that’s not all there is to it, says tech consultancy Janco Associates. Based on analysis of US Bureau of Labor Statistics data by Janco, news that the IT industry added just 700 jobs following an estimated 262,242 jobs lost amid mass layoffs is shocking, but not surprising. Yet while layoffs have generally kept IT job growth flat for the past year (2023’s net 700 comes despite more than 21,000 IT jobs being created in Q4), there’s still a surplus of vacant roles, with Janco finding some 88,000 remain open. “Based on our analysis, the IT job market and opportunities for IT professionals are poor at best,” said Janco CEO M Victor Janulaitis. “Currently, there are almost 100K unfilled jobs with over 101K unemployed IT Pros – a skills mismatch.”

In other words, while we’re definitely dealing with correction from pandemic overhiring, we’re also wading into a new paradigm where a lot of tech talent is going to have to retrain because AI is being crammed wherever C-level employees can stick it. A one-two punch to the IT jobs market Much of the layoff debt to hit IT jobs have come to entry-level positions, especially those in the customer service telecommunications and hosting automation areas. In turn, some of the responsibilities of those jobs are being reassigned to the latest and greatest AIs, says Janco.

Xerox prints pink slips for 15% of workforce Intel trims a few hundred workers in Cali just in time for Christmas 17% of Spotify employees face the music in latest cost-cutting shuffle Game over for ByteDance’s big video game studio dream? According to thge tech consultancy, entry-level IT demand is shrinking, though demand for those with AI, security, development, and blockchain skills remain desired. “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning IT Professionals remain in high demand,” said Janulaitis. Still, plans to further replace humans with AI workers at the entry level are hardly far-fetched, with multiple reports finding much the same.

According to Resume Builder, 40 percent of companies plan to replace employees with AI in 2024, with corresponding job cuts in customer support, research, and office support. Unsurprisingly, 96 percent of companies are looking for workers with AI skills, Resume Builder said, to support their automation armies. It’s not clear from Janco’s data how 2024 will shake out, and the firm didn’t immediately respond to our questions. Nonetheless, the final quarter of 2024 has been nothing but job growth dragged down by the year’s poor numbers, and salaries are on the rise as well, said Janulaitis. “Salaries for management positions with AI skills are in the $150K to $250K range. Experienced managers and developers are getting offers in the $125K to $165K range,” the CEO said.

Those caught up by this year’s tech layoffs seem to have a simple solution on their hands, as far as Janco’s data suggests: Retrain for AI. Problem solved … until the next big thing comes along. ®