The technology industry’s unemployment rate edged downward in the fourth quarter of 2015, hitting 2.9 percent—a tenth of a percentage point down from the third quarter of the year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Although that’s higher than earlier in 2015, when the unemployment rate in tech dipped as low as 2.0 percent, it’s still better than the overall U.S. labor market, where the unemployment rate hit 5.0 percent in the fourth quarter. Check out Dice’s latest Tech Employment Snapshot for Q4 2015 (PDF) in order to see the full range of jobs created/lost (with some nifty visualizations).
In the fourth quarter, a number of technology segments monitored by the BLS saw a notable decrease in unemployment. For example, the unemployment rate for Web developers fell from 5.10 percent in the third quarter to 4.40 percent in the fourth; for computer systems analysts, the dive was even steeper, from 3.80 percent to 1.80 percent during the same timeframe. Network systems administrators, software developers, and computer & information systems managers likewise saw decreases.
For a few other professions, unemployment rose. Computer support specialists saw their joblessness rate rise from 4.20 percent in the third quarter to 5.30 percent in the fourth; programmers’ rate bumped from 2.60 percent to 3.20 percent.
In sum, the technology segment closed out the year with low unemployment for many segments, and signs that technology professionals remain upbeat about their prospects. From an employer perspective, that means continuing pressure to offer competitive salaries and perks to attract the necessary talent. The Tech Employment Snapshot offers some additional data about voluntary quits, another important hiring measure, as well as layoffs and discharges.