RALEIGH – Demand for high-tech workers remains very strong in the Raleigh-Cary area even as openings across the state dipped slightly in December, a new report shows. And big tech is hiring. IBM, Oracle and Cisco are leading the demand for new talent, but many other firms of all sizes are beefing up tech staffs for the COVID-19 influenced economy.

Open jobs in the capital city area surged nearly 16% year-over-year to 9,490, according to the IT Job Trends report for December. That total led the state for the second straight month with Charlotte second and Durham-Chapel Hill third, according to the NC Technology Association’s data.

Leading the demand not only in Raleigh-Cary but statwide is the need for software developrs and computer systems engineers and architects.

Software jobs rose nearly 18% year-over-year to 8,310.

Demand for computer systems engineers and architects led to 2,550 openings, a jump of 11.3% from 2019.

Statewide, jobs available did fall slightly from November to 27,722. Yet despite the pandemic year-over-year openings were down only 1.6%.

Federal jobs data for November – the latest available – showed a 6.2% year-over-year decline in information jobs to just over 72,000. But job levels were flat for professional services and financial services, two areas that also include many tech-related jobd, adding up to over 900,000.

The December tech numbers have those compiling the report looking at 2021 with optimism.

NC TECH graphic

“This ~1% decrease follows the relative stabilization in the industry over the last few months as the initial impacts of the COVID pandemic begin to ease off,” says the report, which now includes information from the Myrtle Beach are, sponsored by Clarkston Consulting and Momentum.

“With a new administration entering the White House and increased discussion of a broad COVID stimulus package, industry analyst are hopeful for increased recovery in employment opportunities.”

Brooks Raiford, CEO of NC TECH, says hiring is expected to drive the overall number of openings higher as a new year begins.

“After rebounding in late summer, IT job openings in North Carolina declined slightly in the final two months of 2020,” Raiford said. “It’s common to see an easing of job openings in the fourth quarter due to holidays, so we will see if the typical uptick in the first quarter materializes,” he added.

So who is hiring?

Job openings are not limited to big tech, either.

“IT-related businesses continue to offer the highest number of available positions with employers like Oracle, IBM, and Cisco posting nearly 20% of available IT positions,” the report says.

“That said, available positions are beginning to decentralize with a wider variety of employers offering more positions.”

The big companies leading the demand for employees were:

  • Oracle
  • IBM
  • HCL Technologies
  • Cisco
  • MUFG
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Wells Fargo
  • Red Hat
  • Spectrum

IBM and Red Hat, which it owns, employ thousands across the Triangle while Oracle and Cisco have substantial operations in RTP.

Job openings by metro area

On the down side, job openings fell by more than double digits in Durham-Chapel Hill and Charlotte.

The top 10 metro areas for job openings, the number and year-over-year growth/decline:

  • Raleigh: 9,490, +15.7%
  • Charlotte/Concord/Gastonia: 9,114, -10.5%
  • Durham/Chapel Hill: 3,265, -17.2%
  • Greensboro/High Point: 837 -20.7%
  • Fayetteville: 777, -28.6%
  • Winston-Salem: 574, +8.7%
  • Wilmington: 304, -0.3%
  • Burlington: 209, +22.9%
  • Myrtle Beach/Conway/N. Myrtle: 187 +59.8%
  • Jacksonville: 169, +38.5%
  • TOTALS Including All Others: 27,722, -1.6%