Technology unemployment rose to 2.1% in August, up from 1.8% in July, in line with national unemployment rate growth, according to a CompTIA review of U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The national unemployment reached 3.8% in August.
The tech sector added jobs for the third straight month, increasing the workforce by 12,643 positions and reversing losses from the first quarter. By contrast, tech roles across industries contracted by 189,000 positions.
“The usual caveats of monthly fluctuations in labor market data apply,” Tim Herbert, chief research officer at CompTIA, said in a release. “The seesawing between strong and lagging tech jobs reports is undoubtedly confusing, but the overall macro trend of growth in the depth and breadth of the tech workforce remains steady.”
While month-to-month data shows mixed signals, the overriding demand for technology talent holds true: workers with in-depth technology experience can find a job if they want one.
August IT unemployment ticked back up in line with national trend
Technology companies have laid off more than 233,000 employees so far this year, the bulk of them during the first quarter, according to Layoffs.fyi. But most of those layoffs impacted people in non-technology roles, and even technologists that were impacted quickly found new roles.
"The kind of tech talent that Meta wants to hire — and Google wants to hire — so does Walgreens," said Martha Heller, founder and CEO of Heller Search Associates. "So does Bank of America, so does the automotive industry and so does insurance."
As sectors outside of tech expand their own tech capabilities, the need for in-house talent goes up, Heller said.
"When we start to talk about providing predictive maintenance solutions to our customers, predictive analytics customers, that's all software engineering," Heller said. "We're back to creating original [intellectual property] here."
Amid the crunch for qualified workers, executives have turned to training and upskilling existing workers. For specific functions in high demand, such as data analytics, needed skills may already exist within company ranks.