Main image of article Unemployment Down, Layoffs Up in Q2

Despite the usual chatter about a tech bubble (and scuttlebutt about when it might pop), hiring for tech professionals stayed robust in the second quarter of 2015, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate for tech pros currently stands at 2.1 percent, down from 2.3 percent in the first quarter. That’s the lowest rate recorded since the second quarter of 2008, right before the Great Recession commenced in earnest. BLS Unemployment Rate While that rate is great for tech pros looking for a job, not all tech segments have seen the same declines. In fact, between the first two quarters of the year, the unemployment rate for Web developers climbed from 2.1 percent to 3.1 percent. Computer support specialists, network and systems administrators, computer & information systems managers, and database administrators also saw their respective unemployment rates rising slightly. Programmers, on the other hand, saw their unemployment rate dip from 6.5 percent to 1.8 percent between the first and second quarters; software developers also experienced a slight decline during the same period, from 1.5 percent to 1.3 percent. If you build websites or apps your prospects look pretty good. For tech pros who either consult or work in computer-systems design, the past quarter was a good one, with a net gain of 25,000 jobs. That category has enjoyed significant growth over the past few quarters, driven by a widespread need for consulting services. Data processing, hosting, and related services saw a gain of 5,500 jobs in the quarter. Not all categories enjoyed growth in total jobs. Computer and electronic manufacturing lost 700 jobs, almost certainly due to decreased appetite among consumers and businesses for PCs and other hardware. Layoffs and discharges for the tech industry as a whole rose slightly in April and May (the latest months for which the BLS had numbers), to an average of 441,500 employees per month. That’s higher than the first quarter, when layoffs and discharges averaged 424,300 per month. But not every tech pro left their company due to a layoff: Nearly half a million employees voluntarily quit their jobs in both April and May, hinting that people feel confident about striking out for better opportunities. Considering the unemployment rate, those with the right combination of skills and experience can certainly have their pick of offers.