Tech Unemployment Rises Slightly to 2.2 Percent

Despite all the headlines about layoffs, the tech unemployment rate only ticked up slightly to 2.2 percent in October, according to a new analysis by CompTIA. Throughout the year, the tech unemployment rate has largely held steady: it was 2.3 percent in August, for example, before dipping to 2.1 percent in September.

Tech companies added 20,700 workers in October, making it the 23rd straight month of job growth. Overall employment in the tech industry has risen by 193,900 this year, 28 percent higher than 2021. Major tech hubs such as Boston, New York City, San Francisco, and San Jose all enjoyed significant month-over-month upticks in tech-related job postings.

It’s also important to note that hiring for remote-work positions has maintained its momentum. Some 34 percent of open tech positions have a remote-work option, versus 27 percent in 2021 and 22 percent in 2020. Whether remote or in-person, employers’ most-desired tech positions included software developers and engineers (85,796 postings in October), IT support specialists, IT project managers, systems engineers, and network engineers.

Meanwhile, the number of tech jobs throughout the whole economy dipped by 116,000. “The data is roughly in line with expectations,” said Tim Herbert, chief research officer at CompTIA, wrote in a statement accompanying the data. “Tech hiring activity remains steady, but there are undoubtedly concerns of a slowing economy.”

The big question is how the rest of the year might play out. Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies announced significant layoffs last week, including Twitter and Lyft, and more might hit in coming months. However, many of those companies went on an exuberant hiring spree during the pandemic, and now may need to adjust their workforces to meet the current moment of economic uncertainty. For companies within the broader economy, the need to hire technology professionals remains constant: networks must be defended, websites built, and tech stacks maintained.