After the big companies conducted mega layoffs at the beginning of this year, it would be natural to think that the tech unemployment rate would skyrocket. If we think about tech jobs as purely IT, engineering and developer kinds of roles, then those jobs are definitely still in demand and less affected than you might imagine.
There’s a big factor working in the favor of tech professionals looking for work: They’re sought after in both the technology industry and across other industries that also require workers with the same technical skills. Those non-technology companies are finally getting a shot at some of the better talent that has been locked in tech industry jobs for the last few years.
Still, when you add tens of thousands of people to the unemployment payroll, it’s bound to have an impact eventually — even if all those jobs weren’t pure tech jobs.
Right after the latest jobs numbers came out earlier this month, the number of job openings across all sectors fell to its lowest level in two years. What’s more, CompTIA found that tech job posting volume was down, suggesting that companies might have put hiring on hold, at least for the short-term.
This hardly seems surprising, given that the Fed has been raising interest rates for the last 19 months with the specific goal of cooling the economy. In fact, over the last year, rates ballooned from 1.68% in July 2022 to over 5% today. The attempts seemed to have worked if the declining jobs data is any indication.
When we looked at the tech jobs outlook in February, we expected it to be worse than it was, but tech jobs growth remained surprisingly strong. Today, the picture isn’t quite as bright — though not awful — but there is clearly a shifting landscape for tech workers.
And you may ask yourself, “How did we get here?”
You may recall (or may have stricken it from your memory due to the trauma) that in March 2020, we went into a lockdown. That caused the economy and tech jobs to plunge briefly, but throughout that year and into 2021, companies began recognizing that there was a business opportunity in having so many workers at home.