The unemployment rate for tech occupations hit 1.7% in April, up slightly from 1.4% in March, according to a new CompTIA analysis of data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Despite this increase, technological unemployment remains historically low. Job postings from employers for tech occupations topped 443,000 in April, totaling 1.6 million in 2020 so far, a 40% year-over-year increase, CompTIA added.
“Despite growing talk around economic headwinds, this was another strong month of tech job gains and hiring momentum,” Tim Herbert, director of research at CompTIA, wrote in a statement. Demand was particularly strong for software developers and engineers (who accounted for 30% of all job openings), as well as IT project managers, IT support specialists, systems engineers and architects, and engineers and network architects.
The demand for tech talent has skyrocketed over the past few years; the average tech salary now stands at $104,566, according to Dice Tech’s latest salary report, having increased by 6.9% between 2020 and 2021. For specialized professions such as machine learning specialist or data scientist, compensation can peak much higher, especially at companies with the budgets to offer massive blocks of stock options and other perks.
The latest unemployment rate is also a healthy reminder that while some famous companies may institute hiring freezes or pay cuts in response to the business downturn, many organizations continue to hire aggressively. In many ways, these organizations have no choice; no matter what happens around the world, they still need applications created, technology infrastructure maintained and protected, and data analyzed to gain crucial strategic insights.
However, just because there is an extraordinary demand for technologists does not mean that companies will hire just anyone: they want technologists who master essential skills such as software development and project management, as well as languages programming and tools such as SQL, Python and Java. Whenever you apply for a new position, make sure you have all the skills the employer is looking for, and be sure to highlight those skills on your resume and application materials.