December Tech Unemployment Rate Dipped to 2 Percent

The tech unemployment rate dipped to 2 percent in December, a slight decrease from 2.6 percent in November, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It was also the 13th consecutive month of tech employment growth, underscoring organizations’ continuing hunger for technologists of all disciplines. 

Tech-job postings increased in cities as varied as Atlanta, Houston, Tampa, and Los Angeles. Open tech positions also rose across a number of industries, including manufacturing, finance and insurance, and scientific and technical services. As organizations attempt to navigate an increasingly uncertain competitive landscape, they need everyone from data analysts to machine-learning specialists and software developers to help build and maintain the apps, cloud services, and data analytics needed to survive and prosper. 

“This undoubtedly sounds like a broken record, but there is no escaping the influence the pandemic continues to exert over hiring decisions and business investments,” said Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA, which analyzed the BLS data. “Adaptation remains a driving force for organizations expanding their tech workforces in areas such as cloud infrastructure, remote support, data science and cybersecurity.” 

As with previous months, the low unemployment rate gives technologists the ability to negotiate with current and future employers for anything from increased salary to additional benefits. However, it’s clear that organizations are especially interested in technologists who specialize in “hot” arenas such as cybersecurity; cutting-edge skills will boost your chances of landing the interview. 

If you’re using the ultra-tight job market to negotiate with your current employer for a raise, make sure to detail how your work and skills add value to the company’s overall strategy. If you can demonstrate how you save the company money and/or accelerate its current plans, you’ll increase your chances of a great offer. Even if you’re not after more compensation, you can use a sit-down with your manager to negotiate for benefits such as a more flexible schedule.