In a sign North Carolina’s rampant technology sector is pumping the brakes, IT job openings fell statewide in June, according to a report released Monday by the North Carolina Technology Association, an industry group for tech companies across the state.
After reaching an all-time high in May, IT job postings dropped by 10% — from 58,457 to 52,650 — reflecting the largest decrease since the early months of the pandemic. The new data align with a nationwide industry pullback in hiring, even by tech giants like Google and Meta.
“I think overall it goes with everything that we’re seeing in the news,” said Andrea Fleming, the director of talent and workforce development at the NCTA, though she emphasized a one-month decrease is “not a trend.”
Openings were still well above last year’s levels, with North Carolina offering 41% more tech jobs compared to the previous June. Raleigh had even faster growth, with a 59% jump in openings over the past year. The Durham-Chapel Hill area reported 7% more openings.
The biggest tech hirers in the state last month were Deloitte, General Dynamics Information Technology and Oracle. Two North Carolina-based employers, Bank of America and UNC Healthcare, were also among the top 10.
‘There are a lot of questions’
Rising interest rates and concerns about an impending recession are chilling overall job growth, especially in the tech sector, said Mouhcine Guettabi, an economics professor at UNC-Wilmington.
“The ability to borrow at low interest rates meant that companies could invest in projects, could grow, could hire, at relatively low cost,” he said.
Now, with interest rates higher and inflation and recession concerns swirling, the period of cheap money and economic confidence is over.
In an internal memo last week, Google CEO Anjali Pichai announced his company would slow hiring for the rest of 2022. The news came on the heels of Meta, Facebook’s parent company, declaring reductions in its planned hiring. Microsoft and Netflix both laid off workers in the past month, while locally, the digital advertising Durham-based company Adwerx let 40 employees go last week.
“There are a lot of questions that nobody knows the answer to, and I think tech companies tend to be fairly responsive to these changes whenever they do occur,” Guettabi said. “It’s in response to the cloudiness of the current economic environment.”
This story was produced with financial support from a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work.
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This story was originally published July 18, 2022 1:56 PM.
Brian Gordon is the Innovate Raleigh reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He writes about jobs, start-ups and all the big tech things transforming the Triangle.