October's Tech Unemployment: 2.8 Percent
The U.S. unemployment rate dipped to 5.0 percent in October, lower than analysts’ expectations. In the tech sector, the unemployment rate remained unchanged from September, at 2.8 percent; that’s an improvement over October 2014, when the rate stood at 3.0 percent. Among technology job categories, consulting added 9,900 positions last month, ahead of computer and electronic product manufacturing (which added 1,200 jobs) and data processing, hosting, and related services, which lost 200 jobs. Although any uptick in manufacturing jobs is ostensibly a good sign, given weakening demand for PCs and other hardware, October’s gains in that segment came in significantly lower than in 2014, when 2,000 jobs were added. A recent Dice analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data found that unemployment in other tech categories ticked upward in the third quarter of 2015. Those categories included computer systems analysts, programmers, network and systems administrators, software developers, and computer & information systems managers. But what goes down (or up) in a quarter can just as easily reverse itself the next; and despite a slight rise in unemployment in some areas, there are signs that the overall economy for technology professionals remains strong. For example, voluntary quits among tech pros averaged a robust 500,000 employees per month in the third quarter—a sign that employees feel confident enough about the economy to leave their current jobs in search of better opportunities (or freelancing).