Employer Demand for Technologists Remains Strong into March

Demand for talent at tech companies eased somewhat in February, although it remains very strong by historical standards, according to the latest analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data by CompTIA.

Tech companies added 5,300 new workers in February. That’s down from January, when tech companies hired 24,300 workers. Overall, employer job postings for tech occupations almost reached 388,000 in February, up by almost 50,000 from the month before.

“The record-level of employer job postings for the month and a pause in actual new tech hires is a clear sign of the ongoing labor supply problem,” Tim Herbert, chief research officer at CompTIA, wrote in a note accompanying the data. “Employers want to hire more tech workers but can only do so when there are workers to hire.”

While tech-employment opportunities remain strong in traditional tech hubs such as New York (20,342 job postings in February) and Seattle (10,850 job postings), up-and-coming tech hubs saw significant month-over-month bumps in hiring activity, including Boise (up 71 percent), St. Louis (up 53 percent), and Kansas City (up 42 percent). As with previous months, software developers and engineers remained in strongest demand, paired with widespread need for IT support specialists, IT project managers, and systems engineers and architects.

Developers (and technologists as a whole) like to go where the money is, and a recent breakdown by Blind, which surveys (anonymous) technologists on a range of issues, shows that several cities in California rank at the top when it comes to average and median annual compensation for software developers and engineers; Seattle, New York, and other well-established tech hubs also made that list

As companies everywhere scramble to secure the talent they need, technologists have a lot of opportunity to negotiate for higher salaries and other kinds of compensation. If you’re job-hunting, keep in mind that you can also request other benefits, such as a flexible schedule or stipends for child care; if you have particularly in-demand skills, chances are good that a potential employer will be willing to chat about those points.