The U.S. information technology (IT) sector posted modest job gains to start 2018, but hiring for core technology positions was strong in other industries, according to CompTIA.

Employers added more than 160,000 IT positions in January, CompTIA’s analysis of today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics “Employment Situation” report reveals.

“Though there is a degree of volatility associated with the monthly occupation-level data, the January figures confirm employers across many industry sectors are in need of tech talent,” said Tim Herbert, senior vice president, research and market intelligence, CompTIA. “The IT sector remains the largest employer of technology workers, but increasingly hiring is occurring in finance, healthcare, transportation, and other industry sectors.”

Within the IT sector, employment grew by an estimated 3,300 jobs in January. New hiring in the IT services and custom software development category – up an estimated 4,500 new jobs – was offset by another month of labor reductions in telecommunications, which shed 3,100 positions.

“January followed the script that we saw in much of 2017,” Herbert said. “Software is the driving force behind many of the applications and solutions that businesses are using to streamline their operations, engage with new customers and enter new markets,” he explained. “Cloud-based solutions are fast becoming the norm rather than the exception; and the Internet of Things is rapidly expanding its footprint across the economy.”

In 2017, more than 104,000 new software and IT services jobs were created, by far the largest contributor to employment gains in the IT sector. By comparison, the telecommunications category shrunk by 29,200 positions.

The January employment figures from the BLS show that within the IT sector, computer and electronics products manufacturing category added 1,300 positions, while data processing, hosting and related services grew by an estimated 1,100 jobs. Other information services, including search portals, declined by 500 jobs.

There were an additional 18,200 job postings for IT position in January compared to December 2017. Each of the top five categories experienced gains, led by software developers (+ 17 percent month over month) and IT support specialists (+ 10 percent).