According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more technology professionals are voluntarily walking away from their current jobs.
Preliminary BLS data suggests that an average of 500,000 employees per month in the Professional and Business Services category (which includes tech and STEM positions) voluntarily quit in the first two months of the third quarter, the latest data available.
Voluntary quits are significant because they suggest tech pros feel confident enough about the health of the economy to actively explore landing a position with better benefits, or else strike out on their own as independent contractors.
The national unemployment rate for tech pros has held at just under 3 percent for the past year. Programmers, network and systems administrators, and software developers have all enjoyed bountiful opportunities in the nation’s tech hubs. Yet despite that generally rosy picture, not every tech segment has enjoyed the fruits of a more robust economy. Manufacturing has faced rounds of layoffs and declines in the number of available jobs, for example, due in large part to slackening demand for PCs and other electronic goods.
For recruiters, the level of voluntary quits suggests that candidates will at least hear a potential offer, even if they already work for another company. But as long as the economy remains strong, and demand for skilled tech workers high, those same recruiters will likely need to offer a premium package of salary and perks to actually lure candidates away from their current positions.