Tech Unemployment Dipped to 2.1 Percent in October

Tech unemployment stood at 2.1 percent in October, according to a new CompTIA analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s a fraction down from September, when the tech unemployment rate hit 2.2 percent, and far less than the general unemployment rate of 4.6 percent. 

CompTIA also found that U.S. tech job postings hit their highest total since September 2019. October’s 360,065 tech job openings represented an increase of 76,000 from September. 

“We continue to see robust hiring activity and staff retention efforts among employers,“ Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA, wrote in a statement accompanying the data. “Our research indicates a top reason tech workers considering leaving is lack of career growth opportunities, a telling message to employers to not underestimate the value of investing in staff training and professional development.”

Cities with the biggest month-over-month tech job gains included Dallas (+4,215), New York (+3,270), Washington (+2,798), Los Angeles (+2,248), and Boston (+2,163). Hiring activity increased for software developers of applications (+28,600 positions between September and October), systems analysts (+5,100), IT support specialists (+3,000), and web developers (+2,600). 

With tech unemployment notably low, technologists have more leverage than ever to negotiate with employers—and to leave their current positions if they’re not getting what they want. As part of its Q3 2021 analysis, SlashData asked developers about changing employers, and while many suggested they’d jump jobs for better compensation, sizable percentages also said they’d leave for everything from better company culture to an easier commute.

Before you head into a negotiation, however, take the time for a self-evaluation. Sit down and count up your achievements and how you’ve impacted your company; review your previous performance, completed projects, and more. You’ll also want to tally new skills and tools you’ve learned since your last salary bump or annual review. With all that data, you can make a solid argument for why you deserve more money, an adjusted schedule, or other benefits; you can also use it to strengthen your resume and other materials when you apply to new jobs.