Tech Unemployment Hits 2.0 Percent
Tech-industry unemployment hit 2.0 percent in April, down from 2.4 percent in March, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Computer and electronic-product manufacturing gained 500 jobs in April, while technology consulting added 7,300 positions. Data processing, hosting, and related services lost 600 jobs that month. The tech industry continues to enjoy higher employment than the broader U.S. economy, where the unemployment rate remained at 5.0 percent in April. Among tech professionals, the rate of voluntary quits continues strongly, which many pundits and economists view as a sign of a healthy economy; people tend to leave their jobs, the thinking goes, when they feel confident enough in the strength of their industry to land a new, better position. Despite those positive signs, not all tech segments have enjoyed robust employment growth over the past few months. For example, the unemployment rate for Web developers climbed to 6.6 percent in the first quarter of 2016, up from 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. Computer-systems analysts also saw their unemployment rate uptick slightly during that same period, to 2.1 percent. As with other industries, technology experiences seasonal shifts in employment; the beginning of the first quarter also sees the end of many yearly contracts. In any case, it’s clear that many tech firms remain in a hiring mood, which is good news for tech pros of all disciplines.