- Tech unemployment reached 1.7% in November, falling to its lowest level since January, according to a CompTIA review of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data published Friday. National unemployment fell to 3.7%, down from 3.9% in the previous month.
- Conversely, tech occupations across the economy declined by 210,000 last month, after a large uptick in October. Tech sector employers added 2,900 positions nationally last month.
- Job postings associated with AI reached 12% of all tech roles posted last month, according to CompTIA, clearing the 10% threshold for the first time in the trade group's analysis.
Though layoff waves roiled the tech industry in 2023, the tech labor market continues to be undersupplied with the kind of talent enterprises need, despite November's contrasting numbers.
"This could be characterized as one of those ‘mixed signal’ months where the occupation level data and the unemployment rate data appear to be moving in conflicting directions," said Tim Herbert, chief research officer at CompTIA, in an email.
Tech unemployment hits lowest level since January
A likely explanation for the contradictory data points is a lag effect of BLS data, Herbert said. A spike in tech occupation data impacted the unemployment rate calculation for November.
"The unemployment rate measures out-of-work workers that are actively looking," Herbert said. "I don’t get the sense from the data or from discussions with tech workers that anyone is checking out of the tech labor market and giving up on looking."
The AI adoption rush that led enterprise tech discussions this year is also shaping talent strategies.
Average salaries for positions related to AI rose 12% in the third quarter of 2023, compared to the previous three-month period, according to Comprehensive.io data. AI engineers command an average salary of $188,000, the analysis showed.
Roles in emerging technologies, or jobs that require emerging tech skills as part of their description, composed more than one-quarter of all tech job postings last month, CompTIA found.