IT specialists are in high demand. Before the Corona crisis, hardly any a report on the shortage of skilled workers managed without this realization. But what impact has the Corona crisis had on the IT labor market? To answer this question, we use unemployment figures from the German Federal Employment Agency on the one hand and Indeed data on job postings and job search behavior on the other.

IT professionals work in many different industries. Some of these industries are more affected by the Corona crisis than others. As a result, the IT labor market is not immune to the Corona crisis. Indeed data shows that companies are currently doing well to recruit the hotly contested IT professionals, as IT specialists are increasingly looking for jobs in some areas. At the same time, the number of job postings has also declined in the IT sector due to the Corona crisis. On the corporate side, this currently means somewhat less competition. From the point of view of job-seeking IT specialists, however, there is no need to panic. Unemployment figures in the IT sector have risen sharply, but in absolute terms they are still at a low level - and there are plenty of IT jobs available. Right now, it doesn't hurt to look at which companies are investing in the future and looking for IT professionals despite the Corona shock.

IT unemployment figures have risen at an above-average rate

Throughout Germany, the Number of unemployed increased by 25.8 % in May 2020 compared with the same month of the previous year. So far, little attention has been paid to the sharp increase in the number of unemployed in IT occupations (the official designation in the classification of occupations is "information technology and other ICT occupations"). Compared to the same month last year, the number of unemployed in the IT sector increased by 32.8 % in May 2020. The Federal Employment Agency classifies unemployed persons into the groups "helper", "skilled worker", "specialist" and "expert". A detailed look at the statistics shows that unemployment in the IT sector has increased, particularly among experts.

There are, of course, occupations in which unemployment figures rose even more sharply in May 2020 - for example, tourism, hotel and restaurant occupations by 52.7 %. Nevertheless, the increase in unemployment figures in the IT sector is above average. This is an indicator of how strong the impact of the Corona crisis on the labor market actually is.

IT labor market: Above-average decline in job postings

Indeed analyses in recent weeks have shown that the various professions have been affected very differently by the Corona crisis. The development of job postings in IT has currently declined slightly above average - compared to the overall development of job postings in Germany. Job postings for jobs in IT support or IT infrastructure have declined less than jobs for software development. Jobs in data analytics and information management, which include data scientists or business analysts, for example, have declined even more sharply.

This shows that the IT labor market has not been spared either. The containment measures have posed challenges for recruiting in the companies. It was not only the recruiters themselves who had to find their way in the new situation (and possibly in the home office). Corporate strategies for personnel development also had to be rethought and recruiting had to be adapted to the new situation - keyword online application interviews. All of these reasons combined will certainly have contributed to the decline in job postings in the IT sector. In addition, IT professionals work in many industries - and some of them have been hit particularly hard by the Corona crisis. Some companies have announced short-time work or had to lay off employees. This then has an impact on new job postings in the IT sector, which are reduced or stopped for the time being.

Corona crisis

IT professionals are increasingly looking for jobs in some areas

How are IT professionals reacting to the current Corona situation? In order to examine the Corona effect on the one hand and also observe long-term trends on the other, we compare current search queries with the period before the Corona crisis as well as with the same period last year.

An analysis of search queries on Indeed shows: In some IT areas, people are currently increasingly looking for new jobs. Data analytics-related search queries for "data scientist," "data analyst," or "Python" are currently following a long-term trend of increasing interest among job seekers. The share of these keywords in all search queries has been increasing since before the Corona crisis. The topic of "e-commerce" is also gaining in attractiveness, as the searches show. "Machine learning," which is used in the context of automation and artificial intelligence, has attracted slightly less interest among job seekers compared with the previous year, but now during the Corona crisis its share of all searches has increased.

In contrast, searches for "information technology" and "system administration" are declining. Only part of the decline occurs during the Corona crisis. One possible explanation is that professionals in these two fields have been so busy supporting the home office that there hasn't been much time left for job hunting. After all, we know from previous Indeed analyses: People mainly search for new jobs during working hours.

The development of searches in the area of software development looks different. Searches for "software developer" have increased not only compared to the same period last year, but also since the beginning of the Corona crisis. Here, more IT specialists seem to be probing the job market. While the programming languages #C and Java are searched for more frequently, PHP is searched for less frequently. Whether these are Corona effects or a general trend in the popularity of programming languages remains to be seen.

IT professionals are not used to uncertainty. They are already told during their training or during their studies how much in demand they are. The current Corona exception will make people think. Particularly in industries hit hard by the crisis, it can become clearer that the job is not as secure as thought. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of other job opportunities for this group of professionals. But it does mean that IT professionals who previously thought they were safe are starting to sound out the market after all.

IT professionals

The Corona crisis will not solve the skills shortage in IT

The Corona crisis will not solve the high demand for IT professionals. Even if some companies are currently more reluctant to hire in the IT sector than before the Corona crisis, it is unlikely that IT specialists will be needed less after the crisis. After all, we are all just becoming aware of how important digitization is. And which specialists are needed for this? That's right, IT specialists.


For this analysis, we examine searches from IT on Indeed as a share of all searches from June 1-19, 2020. We compare the change in searches from both the pre-Corona crisis period (February 1-19, 2020) and the change from the prior year period (June 1-19, 2019). We accounted for fluctuations in search behavior by calculating the moving average (7-day) share of all searches for each search term.

In addition, we compare the developments of online job ads on Indeed this year since the beginning of February with last year's developments over the same period. A moving average over 7 days is calculated for each day. Here, February 1 serves as the base value (February 1 = 100).

We defined February 1 as the baseline, because at that time the coronavirus had not yet arrived in Germany, with few exceptions. It was not until the week of February 24 that two cases became known in Heinsberg, so we can compare developments before the coronavirus pandemic with developments during the coronavirus pandemic.

Information based on publicly available data from the Indeed Germany website (and other countries mentioned, if applicable) is not a prediction of future events and includes both paid and unpaid job postings.


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