The tech unemployment rate hit 2.6 percent in November, a slight rise from 2.1 percent in October, according to a new analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data by CompTIA.
“Tech employment at the industry level increased by 9,400 new positions for the month,” added the CompTIA report accompanying the data. “Tech employment at the occupation level increased by 193,000 across the economy, a reversal of the negative growth from the previous month.”
Numerous cities recorded rising demand for technologists. San Francisco, Orlando, Phoenix, and Chicago all had strong month-over-month increases in technology job postings. New York City, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Los Angeles, and Chicago had the most open technology jobs in November.
“Even facing a number of new and unsettling headwinds, the tech jobs market remains red hot,” Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA, wrote in a statement. “Despite the frenzied pace, it’s a great a time for both technology professionals and employers to explore new opportunities, reinvest in skills and career development, and prepare to embrace the latest innovations.”
Indeed, the low unemployment rate gives technologists everywhere a little bit more leverage if they want to negotiate with their employers for anything from increased salary to additional benefits. A recent analysis by SlashData found software developers more than happy to jump jobs for everything from better compensation to an easier commute—a sentiment that more than likely extends to other tech professions, as well.
Before you engage in any negotiation with your employer, though, take the time to do some groundwork. Conduct a rigorous self-assessment; list all of your projects, achievements, skills, and experience (this is also helpful when updating your resume). That will give you a good sense of your value to your employer. It’s also helpful to do a bit of research and see what technologists with your experience and role tend to earn—if you’re underpaid for the industry, now’s your opportunity to fix that.
When you sit down with your manager, make sure to detail how your work and skills have added value to the company’s efforts. Have your projects saved the company money or advanced its strategic initiatives? If so, your company will hate to lose you—and they could end up making you a great offer. Even if you’re not interested in a massive salary bump, you could also negotiate for benefits you’ve always wanted, such as a more flexible schedule.