Tech unemployment fell to 2.1 percent in September, defying the increasingly grim headlines about economic uncertainty and possible recession.
“Despite the prevailing sentiment of a slowing economy, the gains in tech employment say otherwise,” Tim Herbert, chief research officer at CompTIA, wrote in a statement accompanying the organization’s monthly employment data, which is draws from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). “We can infer from the data that aggregate demand for tech talent remains strong enough to offset any pockets of weakness.”
Tech unemployment dipped slightly from August, when the rate stood at 2.3 percent. However, employer job postings also declined slightly in September, hitting 302,370 (a month-over-month dip of 12 percent). Some of the nation’s largest tech hubs, including New York City, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Chicago, and Los Angeles, had the largest numbers of tech postings, but as CompTIA also noted, smaller cities such as Little Rock, AR, and Wichita, KS, saw significant jumps in postings between August and September.
Year-to-date, tech industry employment is up 22 percent over 2021. That might come as a surprise to anyone who digests a steady diet of tech news stories, which seem to portray a tech industry on the verge of wholesale collapse. Startups in turbulent industries such as fintech have been laying off workers, while tech giants such as Meta have been freezing hiring or contemplating layoffs of their own.
Those kinds of headlines have made technologists nervous. In a recent Dice survey, some 56 percent of respondents said they were worried about the economy—well ahead of the 20 percent who said they weren’t worried, as well as the 23 percent who said they were only “a little” worried. But the data doesn’t necessarily back up the panic. For example, layoffs.fyi, which crowdsources its data from a number of sources, shows that layoffs at startups spiked over the summer before declining again:
Technologists are needed across the entire economy. Despite some turbulence in the tech industry itself, other sectors—from manufacturing to retail and beyond—all need technologists for everything from building websites to network security. That simple fact could keep tech hiring strong for some time to come.