Tech Unemployment Rate Hits 2.6 Percent, a Slight Increase

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. 

One Response to “Tech Unemployment Rate Hits 2.6 Percent, a Slight Increase”

  1. jake_leone

    Tech employment levels will be a lagging indicator (I meantioned this several months ago). And the reason is because companies don’t cancel R&D projects, mid-project, despite projections and the economy.

    But when the project is done or cancelled, then the whole team gets fired (ex. Zillow recently).

    Retail and restaurant employment, are typically leading indicators. Hence the big blow that part of the economy felt because of the Corona recession.

    The CoC, business lobby groups, pointed out this disparity early on, and said look over there Tech workers still have their jobs, they are immune to the Corona recession (hence we should import millions more). But it simply wasn’t the case.

    As the profits fall at companies, so will demand for non necessity projects. And so then tech employment levels will be affected by the Corona recession.

    So right now is the time for employers to stop whining about any difficulty finding tech workers. Thanks to the DOJ indictment of Facebook of 2600 counts of Green Card fraud (over just a 1.5 year period, but it has been going on for decades). We know that Facebook and the rest of Big Tech (and by Facebook’s own admission to Federal investigators) are finding 30x more local STEM/IT workers than they can hire. That’s 30x more, and by Facebook’s own admission, these STEM/IT workers they turn away are in fact better qualified than Facebook’s U.S. foreign workforce.

    What Big Tech wants is the indentured foreign worker, and that was rendered clearly in the Facebook indictment.

    Everyone wants to work for a Big Stable Tech company. The companies that have difficulty (and they have always had difficulty) are the unstable start-ups. Because no one want to start a job, where the company may fold next month. Workers need stable employment to qualify for that big loan people need nowadays, just to buy a house. No where is that more true than in the Bay Area.

    When the CoC quotes a big number of open job ads, they never remove the following:
    – The temporary contract jobs, no one wants.
    – The jobs that are fake perm job ads (facebook did at 5200, 2 per fraud count, of these over a 1.5 year period)
    – The jobs that are from unstable startup (which are no better, often worse, than contract jobs)

    You can (probably) cut any big number quote by the CoC of tech open job ads by 75%, by just removing these items. A quick search on Dice (for any tech job) will reveal that 75% are “Contract Only” jobs, that are not the kinds of jobs tech workers need to start a family and buy a house.