Roughly 4.5 million workers quit their jobs in November, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s a record, and a good sign for technologists who want to seek out new opportunities in 2022.
The BLS also reported that 6.7 million people were hired in November. “It’s not understood in the broader public discussion, people aren’t quitting their jobs to leave the labor force they are quitting their jobs to take other jobs,” Heidi Shierholz, president of the progressive Economic Policy Institute, told Axios.
According to Axios, the “quit rate” in the information industry (which includes many tech jobs) stood at 2 percent in November; in professional and business services, which also employs many technologists, the rate was 3.7 percent.
A recent analysis of BLS data by CompTIA put November’s tech unemployment rate at 2.6 percent, a slight rise from 2.1 percent in October. “Tech employment at the industry level increased by 9,400 new positions for the month,” added the CompTIA report accompanying the data. “Tech employment at the occupation level increased by 193,000 across the economy, a reversal of the negative growth from the previous month.”
The low unemployment rate is clearly encouraging technologists to explore new opportunities—and to negotiate for better compensation and increased benefits with their next employers. A recent analysis by SlashData found software developers more than happy to switch jobs for a variety of reasons, from more money to a smoother commute—a sentiment that more than likely extends to other tech professions, as well.
But just because the unemployment rate is low doesn’t mean you can simply waltz into a new gig. When tweaking your résumé and other application materials for 2022, make sure you utilize the right keywords and skills, show your results, and don’t over-optimize. Specialization in “hot” arenas such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (A.I.) can boost your value still further.