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Another month, another strong jobs report.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its March numbers early this month, showing—once again—that the tech labor market remains strong, even in the face of relentless warnings of recession.
CompTIA’s April tech jobs report showed posted tech jobs ticking up by 197,000 for the month, the highest increase since July 2018, according to CompTIA chief research officer Tim Herbert. That puts the total number of open positions at 316,000, the highest in seven months.
Still, the fear of recession is real. And tech job-seekers need to keep that economic instability. But Herbert noted that the tech industry has been traditionally resilient to market shocks.
“In the prior downturns, if you look at the bounce-back in job growth and tech, it always occurs much faster than most other sectors,” Herbert said.
Yes, hiring is hot. That’s in part due to what Herbert termed an “overreaction” to economic indicators that led to steep job cuts. But it’s also because the engine driving the US economy is increasingly built on tech.
“Technology underpins so many different business processes that companies can’t just shut that down,” Herbert told IT Brew. “We’ve heard anecdotally in some of our survey work that they are taking a hard look at certain types of investments, and they may be scaling back…but for a lot of the core technology functions, companies continue to spend, they continue to invest.”
Jason DeKoster, managing director of strategic recruitment at Actalent, agrees. He told IT Brew that layoffs from big tech companies have been a boon to other firms looking to staff up their own IT departments.
“They are probably pretty excited about what’s going to happen with the traditional tech companies, because now they actually have access to that available talent,” DeKoster said. “And with the flattening of the workforce due to remote work, or at least flattening of the globalized workforce, there’s available talent.”
Numbers. Tech unemployment held steady at 2.2%. That’s lower than the national average, and due to the continuing need for IT workers, seems unlikely to change.
Companies around the country are taking advantage of a decline in tech fortunes for Silicon Valley—with East Coast cities like Washington, DC, and New York City reaping the benefits.
“We have all taken advantage of layoffs in Silicon Valley and other places to hire more people,” Ximena Gates, co-founder and president of DC-based BuildWithin, told IT Brew in March.
The national deficit of tech talent means that STEM fields will likely be operating in that way for the foreseeable future, said DeKoster. Even with layoffs and economic uncertainty, there’s a need for staff.
“There are enough companies out there that are adding jobs,” DeKoster said.—EH