Tech Unemployment Hit 2.1 Percent in May, a Slight Uptick

The unemployment rate for tech occupations hit 2.1 percent in May, a slight uptick from previous months. Overall, the national unemployment rate stood at 3.6 percent.

Employers posted some 623,627 tech positions in May, representing a year-over-year increase of 52 percent. “The data speaks to the broad-based nature of the tech workforce,” said Tim Herbert, chief research officer at CompTIA, which analyzed the data. “It also speaks to the many factors affecting employment and situations where sectors or companies easing up on hiring may be offset by sectors or companies increasing hiring.”

In March, the tech unemployment rate stood at 1.4 percent. The next month, it crept up slightly to 1.7 percent. By historical standards, though, the tech unemployment rate remains notably low. Both “traditional” tech hubs such as Silicon Valley and smaller cities across the U.S. have enjoyed significant tech-job growth over the past several quarters.

Salaries for tech positions also remain strong. The average tech salary now stands at $104,566, according to the most recent Dice Tech Salary Report, having risen 6.9 percent between 2020 and 2021. For highly specialized (and in-demand) roles such as data scientist and machine-learning specialist, overall compensation can climb still higher, especially at larger companies with a massive budget for talent.

If you’ve been reading the news, you’ve no doubt noticed a handful of tech companies enacting hiring freezes or layoffs. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, for example, just announced that he would cut his company’s headcount by 10 percent and freeze hiring. But the latest unemployment rate underscores how, despite some business slowdowns, many organizations are continuing to aggressively hire technologists. Whatever the current market, organizations everywhere will always need technologists to build apps, maintain tech stacks, produce websites, analyze data, and other must-have tech functions. If you’ve mastered an in-demand skill-set, chances are good you can find a job you want.

One Response to “Tech Unemployment Hit 2.1 Percent in May, a Slight Uptick”

  1. The data comes from monthly survey, but how many of us take the survey? At 60,000 households that less then one percent of the population.

    The research on the data is done by a company that sell certification & therefor has an incentive to suggest there is a large need for tech resources.

    Both leave out the fact that most jobs (even so called full time work listed on Dice) is actually a duration between 3 months to 24 months, where the average job is only 6 months long, resulting in the well publicized “extreme shortages” & the completely ignored Surplus of unemployed when project schedules don’t line up. In fact the only way to stay constantly employed is Mid-project-flight (to leave a project in the middle resulting the understaffed project failing due to key resource leaving during that extreme shortage rather then waiting to be fired as soon as the project is over during the surplus of unemployed).