US tech industry sees 4.5% decline in June job market

us-tech-industry-sees-4.5%-decline-in-june-job-market

While remote openings have risen 10.3%, the technology sector marked the steepest monthly drop among industries covered in Glassdoor’s latest report.

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Glassdoor just released its latest job market report, chronicling the weekly state of US jobs and recruitment. Despite bouncing back at the beginning of June, US job openings dropped to 4.6 million as of July 6, a 5.5% decline since June 22. And, even though the job market appeared poised for a strong recovery, openings and recruitment bottomed out at the end of June. All 50 states had a decrease in job openings over the last two weeks.

The report concluded that the economic recovery is grinding down, due to the surge of COVID-19 cases throughout the US, but hoped it marks a stall, not a halt, since businesses are reliant on the state of the economy.

“The tech industry had better weathered the earlier months of the COVID-19 crisis, but is now experiencing a more substantial slowdown,” said Daniel Zhao, Glassdoor senior economist. Tech jobs declined 15% in job openings over the last two weeks, from June 22 to July 6, a 4.5% drop from June 8 to July 6 (month over month).

SEE: COVID-19 workplace policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Remote jobs, however, grew 5% over the same two-week period, resilient and undeterred by the health crisis and accompanying economic slowdown, and marked a 23% increase from the year-earlier period. 

COVID-19’s ties to the economy

Economic progress “will be overwhelmingly determined by progress against the [COVID-19] virus,” the report said, attributing the shift to both a fragile job market and the early June recovery losing steam. Recovery, it said in the report, “stumbled, leaving job openings down an anemic 25%, compared to pre-crisis levels. Historically, there has been a dip due to Independence Day celebrations, but this year’s is larger than in previous years and Zhao called it “surprising and alarming.”

“Slumping job openings are a reminder that the virus is firmly in the driver’s seat of the labor market,” the report said. Zhao added, “A worsening public health crisis could easily derail an economic recovery that’s already struggling to find its footing.”

Even though remote job opportunities rose 10.3%, the tech industry fell to the deepest lows (-4.5%) of the industries covered in the report. Public services jobs were also down 4%. However, buoyed by the strength of the initial recovery, consumer services surged 10.9% and retail 5.5%.

The balance of up and down swings

Despite alarming reports of a rise in COVID-19 cases, and among all states, Arizona (-2.5%), Florida (-3.1%) and Texas (-3.2%) showed the smallest declines in job openings. But Glassdoor’s report pointed out that as the crisis escalates in those areas, the small declines are probably not likely to be sustainable.

The report found that 35% of employers reduced job postings since June 22, and the percent of employers increasing job openings dropped to 22% from 31% and it credits employers’ “hesitation to increase hiring in the face of economic uncertainty, rather than a surge in hiring freezes or bankruptcies.”

However, Zhao said, “there are still almost 288,000 tech jobs available and if you’re looking for a new role, it’s still worthwhile to search for and apply to tech jobs.”

If the pandemic spirals out of control, the report warned, the country could “slip into a deeper recession.” But if the public health crisis improves, “then recovery could continue cautiously,” however, the recent “upswell in COVID-19 cases is a humbling reminder that the recovery remains fragile.”

Zhao added, “The risk of a rollercoaster recovery, where rolling waves buffet the economy up and down, should not be underestimated.”

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Data breaches decline 33% in the first half of 2020

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The Identity Theft Resource Center projects 2020 is on pace to see the lowest number of breaches and exposures since 2015.

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Source: Identity Theft Resource Center

Publicly reported US identity compromises dropped 33% in the first half of 2020 compared to the first half of 2019, according to research released Tuesday by the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC).

Breaches impacting individuals have also dropped 66%, according to the ITRC’s data breach analysis. The nonprofit cataloged 540 public reported data breaches impacting 163,551,023 individuals as of June 30, 2020. In contrast, there were 811 breaches in 2019 impacting 493,011,910 individuals, according to the ITRC.

Attacks by external threat actors are still the most common cause of a data breach (404 so far in 2020), but compromises caused by internal threat actors are at a three-year low (83 so far in 2020) as more people work from home and have less access to internal systems and data, the ITRC said.

“The decrease in data breaches is consistent with threat actors consuming data during the global pandemic instead of gathering new identity information to fuel a variety of COVID-19-related and traditional fraud such as phishing scams and credential stuffing cyberattacks,” the ITRC report said.

Data breaches involving third-party contractors and vendors are also down (53 so far in 2020).

“The decrease in the number of data breaches and individuals impacted is good news for consumers and businesses overall,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the ITRC, in a statement. “However, the emotional and financial impacts on individuals and organizations are still significant.”

SEE: 
65% of organizations saw at least 3 OT system intrusions within the past year

(TechRepublic)

The impact on individuals may be even more harmful as criminals use stolen personal information to misappropriate government benefits intended to ease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Velasquez said.

Unless there is a significant uptick in reported data breaches, the ITRC projects 2020 is on pace to see the lowest number of breaches and exposures since 2015.

“With so much data being consumed and so much focus on improved cyber-hygiene at work and home, the available pool of useful data is being reduced,” Velasquez said.

However, the organization believes the lower number of breaches is only temporary, stating that cybercriminals are using data stolen in breaches dating back to 2015 to execute scams, credential stuffing attacks, phishing attacks and fraud that requires identity data. Threat actors are likely to return to more traditional attack patterns to replace and update identity information needed to commit future identity and financial crimes, the ITRC added.

“Cybercriminals will have to act to update their data at some point, which will lead to a return to more normal threat patterns,” Velasquez said.” While it is too early to tell when that may occur, it likely won’t happen overnight, but breaches will gradually increase over time.”

The ITRC, which was established in 1999 to support victims of identity crime, “will continue to help victims by guiding them on the best ways to navigate the dangers of exposed personal information from a data breach and the risks of identity crime as a result,” Velasquez said.

For anyone that has been a victim of a data breach, the ITRC recommends downloading its free ID Theft Help app to manage the various aspects of an individual’s data breach case.

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