Voluntary quits among tech pros declined in June, according to the latest JOLTS data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
In the Professional and Business Services (Tech) category, some 536,000 professionals voluntarily left their positions in June, down from 547,000 in May. Over the course of the second quarter, an average of 547,000 tech pros quit every month, noticeably higher than the monthly average of 503,700 who quit during the second quarter of 2015.
Many analysts and pundits treat the rate of voluntary quits as a barometer of economic health. In their reckoning, when the number of voluntary quits rises, it must mean that professionals, heartened by the solid state of the economy, have decided to leave their current positions in order to look for better opportunities. In struggling economies, they believe, people are less likely to leave their jobs (and the safety of a paycheck) voluntarily.
Meanwhile, the technology industry’s unemployment rate stood at 2.1 percent in the second quarter, according to the BLS. That’s a slight rise from the second quarter of 2015, when it stood at 2.0, but still well ahead of the overall U.S. labor market, where the rate stood at 4.9 percent.
But not all technology segments performed in the same way last quarter. For example, the unemployment rate for Web developers hit 4.7 percent, up from 3.10 percent in the first quarter. At the same time, network and systems administrators, software developers, and information security analysts all saw declines in their respective unemployment rates.
A number of factors go into determining the overall health of the technology industry; it’s not all about one metric. If you subscribe to the idea that voluntary quits are a good sign, though, one can posit that the tech industry is in good shape from the perspective of overall employment.