Tech Industry Unemployment Hits 1.5 Percent, Lowest Rate in 2 Years

The tech-industry unemployment rate has hit its lowest level in two years, according to a new analysis by CompTIA. 

Based on data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), CompTIA has pegged the tech unemployment rate at 1.5 percent in July. “Beyond the headline figures, the underlying data tells a growth story of diverse hiring across tech occupation categories, industry sectors, employer types and locations,“ Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA, wrote in a statement accompanying the data. “It’s not one overriding factor, but a combination of factors contributing to tech employment growth.”

Within the tech industry, employment rose by 10,700 positions. Meanwhile, the broader U.S. economy added 178,000 technologist positions. Metro areas with the strongest demand included New York City, Dallas, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and Atlanta—a healthy mix of mature tech hubs and up-and-comers with thriving tech scenes. some of the biggest names in tech (including Apple, Amazon, and Facebook) have secured large amounts of office space in Manhattan’s Midtown, suggesting that recent predictions of New York’s demise as a tech destination were very premature.

This positive trend in employment has been underway for some time. According to the Dice Q2 Tech Job Report, tech job postings were up 29 percent in the second quarter of 2021 over the pandemic-suppressed second quarter of 2020. Even more impressively, postings for the second quarter of 2021 were also up 9 percent over the second quarter of 2019. Tech hiring has risen within multiple industries, including defense, healthcare, and finance.

Although the summer months generally feature a dip in tech hiring (with echoes a generalized dip in hiring), 2021 isn’t a normal year, and it’ll be interesting to see whether these employment trends continue strongly though September and beyond. With employers hungry for tech talent, technologists everywhere have a good deal of leverage to negotiate the compensation and benefits they really want, including the ability to work remotely if they so choose. 

6 Responses to “Tech Industry Unemployment Hits 1.5 Percent, Lowest Rate in 2 Years”

  1. jake_leone

    While the “1.5”% may sound impressive. It only takes into consideration people who have had steady STEM/IT jobs and then lost them.

    Half of our nation’s STEM/IT grads, NEVER find a STEM/IT job.

    And this is because foreign workers on an OPT visa, save employers 15%, hence foreign workers are preferred.

    H-1b workers and those waiting for a Green Card, are practically self-indentured. That gives them a huge competitive advantage over better qualified local STEM/IT workers. And we can see that in DOJ vs Facebook. Where Facebook admits, that out of hundreds of resumes received per openly advertised STEM/IT job, it finds 30 or more are better qualified than foreign workers that Facebook protects from actually having to compete for their job. Facebook further admitted, to Federal investigators (under penalty of an Obstruction of Justice charge, if they should give false information), that the local STEM/IT workers they turn away are better qualified than foreign workers undergoing PERM certification.

    And Facebook further says, it NEVER forwards the resumes of the better qualified local STEM/IT workers to the hiring managers involved with PERM certification, because that would automatically invalidate the Green Card PERM certification process, for these foreign workers.

    Last year IT unemployment was around 2%, today it is at 1.5%. That’s only a 25% decrease.

    Most other sectors have seen a far greater decrease in the unemployment rate, in that same time period Congressional Research Office report R46554.pdf shows this.

    If we added in the half of U.S. citizen grads, that are never considered for U.S. STEM/IT positions, because they are discriminated against like they are in FACEBOOK’s now well documented discriminatory hiring practices. The true unemployment rate in the U.S. STEM/IT sector would be shockingly high.

    You always need to take into account people who graduated with a STEM/IT degree, but never landed that first STEM/IT position, because they were born in the U.S.A. and have rights and tax disadvantages, that foreign workers simply do not have by bad and corrupt legislative design.

    • Totally agreed. Those H1-B “body shop” are holding a lot of good jobs. They are paying H1-b wages. Certainly, it is hard to find qualified IT people.
      They eat up a chunk of wages. Most of job in the market are not direct hire.

      The “not enough IT people in US” is FAKE NEWS.

      If US doesn’t have qualify IT people, where else? In 3rd world countries?

      • Jake_Leone

        All the Big Tech companies have built huge office expansions in the Silicon Valley. But now everyone realizes, without question, that working from home is actually more efficient. Yet, all these Big Tech companies are saying, you work from home, or start to have a residence out the Bay Area, you take a pay-cut.

        Now, pardon me, aren’t we “supposed” to be having a hard time finding tech employees? If that were really the case, why talk pay cuts, which will simply motivate workers to leave?

        The reason is simple, Big Tech isn’t having any problems finding qualified STEM/IT workers. And they haven’t had any problems for 30 years finding workers. Everyone wants to work for a big stable employer like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Intel… Because that stable job allows you to buy a house (somewhere, maybe not the Bay Area anymore, but somewhere).

        And if, working remotely is more productive than spending 6 hours on Bay Area roads each day + (maybe) 8 at work. Where instead you can actually work 10-12 hours a day from home, and make it seem to your family that you are more involved (because you have 2 more hours to spend with them). Isn’t that better for everyone?

        Who is it bad for? It is bad for the executives who made the decisions. It is literally, as Shakespeare puts it “A black matter for the King”. It’s time to suck that black matter up and deal with correctly. And you know, too bad if it bruised some executive’s bonus opportunity. Sometimes the CEO and executives have to admit that their push to have all their chickens in one coup was a bad idea. And may have been made more for EGO reasons and bonus justification than any real evidence that a centralized workforce in Software really is anything other than a (noisy, time-wasting on roads, resource guzzling, polluting) hindrance to productivity.

        Further, all those cars on the road create a lot of Green House gas, and that is killing the planet. The cost of executive EGO is literally costing us the planet.

        Further, we are taxing ourselves massively to build roads, that frankly are redundant. We only want those expansions because Big Tech executives, who fly around in Gas Guzzling Lear jets, who drive the most expensive vehicles, who take 4 minute (5 billion dollar) rides into space, sat in a board room and had to say something to justify their own continued employment. And they couldn’t think of anything, because they were thinking more about buying some big parcel of land in Hawaii, or taking rides into space,… and so on. When does an executive really get old? The moment their money becomes a distraction that prevents them from doing the hard work to make the company more efficient.

        When in fact, the Pandemic proved, that they are the hindrance, they are blockers of innovation, they are the ones who are telling us to cut back, when in fact they are biggest pigs of all time. OF ALL TIME.

        • Joel Beazer

          By stating “Big Tech isn’t having any problems finding qualified STEM/IT workers…” you’ve already fell for the biggest of the lies. Big Tech THINKS it isn’t having problems finding quality workers! Just look at the terrible quality of software over the past few decades. Decades ago, software was far more impressive than the hardware it ran on, but nowadays, the hardware is far more impressive than the software running on it.

          If it wasn’t for the incredible power of today’s hardware, today’s software would be too slow and too large to run acceptably. A basic system now requires at least 4GB of RAM, a staggering amount of memory, considering only a few megabytes were needed a few decades ago. Microsoft Office 360, for instance, offers marginal improvements over Office 98, but far more RAM and disk space.

          The reason for the code bloat is due to the quality of the software developers. Developers are not viewed as craftsman, but merely interchangeable “resources.” This same mentality results in hiring developers who don’t have the expertise or are not trained.

    • “Half of our nation’s STEM/IT grads, NEVER find a STEM/IT job.”

      Do you have a source for this? I find this absolutely blown out of proportion. I went to a no named school and had terrible grades but had a tech job lined up before graduating. 3 months in to my job I get recruiters constantly going after me because the demand is so high…

      if an IT/STEM grad doesn’t get a job right away then it is an issue of communication skills and a failing of their education not the job market or any policy decisions.

      The tech job market is overwhelmingly hot right now regardless of H-1b visas.. I dont know enough on the topic to comment but I wonder what stops these employers from just outsourcing the tech jobs that go to an H-1b visa at least these foreigners pay taxes and those immigrants may start businesses here in America that create more jobs here?

  2. 20 years of experience, zero job offers in last 6 months (not even an interview!). Oh wait, I’m over 50. No tech jobs for older people. Last I checked there were over 96,000 job openings in software alone, yet peeps in my age group are scared of losing their jobs due to their age (one blew his brains out after looking for over a year – covid policies wiped his clients out, hence his work – losing his house, then wife, etc – he was 47 and a damn good programmer – what a waste). HR people need to be lined up and shot for this kind of discrimination.