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Tech Boom Tightens Talent Crunch

Published Monday Jun 24, 2019

Author Judi Currie

Tech Boom Tightens Talent Crunch

Tech is booming in NH, and recent national surveys show the economic train is not slowing down. According to CompTIA’s Cyberstates 2019 report, technology-related employment in NH grew by more than 2,800 new jobs in 2018, reaching to nearly 70,000 workers and accounting for about 9.8 percent of the state’s workforce. The tech sector has an estimated direct economic impact of $10.6 billion, or about 13.8 percent of NH’s total economy.

New Hampshire saw a 15 percent increase in the number of job postings related to emerging technologies in 2018, such as the Internet of Things, smart cities, drones, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and blockchain.

Cyberstates projects that tech employment will grow by 7.4 percent in NH by 2026. Retirements will add even more pressure to meet the need for tech talent. “The findings attest to a tech labor market that will remain tight as employers balance short-term needs with an eye towards the future,” says Tim Herbert, senior vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA, headquartered in Springfield, Ill.

Tech occupations with year-over-year growth included:

•    Software and web developers (+5.9 percent).

•    Computer support specialists (+4.2 percent).

•    Network architects, administrators and support specialists (+1.8 percent).

The NH Economic and Labor Market Information Bureau lists software and application developers as occupations with a favorable outlook. According to state figures, computer systems design and related jobs are projected to increase by 2.3 percent and management, scientific and technical consulting services about 6 percent by 2020.

The median tech occupation wage in NH is $78,768. That’s 80 percent higher than the median wage for all occupations in the state, and about 15 percent lower than the average tech wage of nearly $93,000 in Massachusetts.

That adds to the pressure faced by NH tech companies trying to recruit talent. A recent survey by staffing firm Robert Half Technology reveals that the inability to pay the same rates as competing firms is among the top concern of IT hiring managers.

Another concern was the inability to fill a post quickly. Internal company procedures were cited for bogging down the hiring process and allowing good candidates to take a job elsewhere. Other top concerns were businesses not promoting their organization as a great place to work and not offering as many perks or benefits as other employers.

Twelve percent of IT hiring managers cited competition with other large, desirable companies in their city as a leading barrier to recruiting tech talent.

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