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Re-Employment Trends in the Tech Industry

According to a survey by ZipRecruiter, 37% of recently unemployed workers in tech found a new position within a month after being laid off, even though the tech industry job market is shrinking. Overall, 79% of those laid off found a new job within three months.

"Despite widespread layoffs, hiring freezes and cost-cutting measures in the tech industry, many tech workers are finding re-employment quickly. They remain the most in-demand workforce, with the most in-demand skills," said Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter.

Source: WSJ

Under the impact of the shooting Federal Funds Rate and high inflations, the number of job vacancies across the economy was 10.3 million, below the all-time high but well ahead of the unemployment population in the US, providing ample work opportunities for both the unemployed and those choosing to look for new jobs. Unemployed workers who previously worked in other industries besides tech, such as entertainment and leisure, transportation, and manufacturing, also quickly found new jobs, according to ZipRecruiter.

Some 74% of tech workers who lost their jobs stayed in the industry. As of mid-October, data indicates that the remaining ex-tech workers had moved on to other industries such as retail, financial services and healthcare within six months.

Source: WSJ

The Chief Human Resources officer at Pinnacol Assurance, an insurer with 650 employees, said job applicants from big tech companies including Meta, Microsoft and Twitter rose by 46% between September to mid-December 2022. The influx of job seekers has helped Pinnacol fill its technology-related roles such as data scientist, machine learning engineer and cloud architect.

Employers were generally quick to respond to these job seekers, likely because of fears of losing them in a competitive market, and the unemployment rate was at a historical low of 3.7%. 90% of ZipRecruiter survey respondents said they heard back from a recruiter or hiring manager within a week after applying for a job.

While employers across industries are still looking to hire tech workers, the demand isn't nearly has high as in the early days of the pandemic. Tech job postings on job sites are indeed still well above pre-pandemic levels, but has dropped sharply in 2022.

Hiring for software developers on Indeed is down 34% from a year ago, and hiring for math-related roles, including data scientists, is down 28%. Overall, postings were down 7.7% from a year ago.

Source: WSJ

Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed Hiring Lab, said the uncertain economic outlook could dampen employers' appetite for white-collar labor, as they tend to base their hiring plans on higher salaries based on long-term business prospects. By contrast, waiters, delivery people, and other low-paying jobs are usually hired based on immediate business needs.

Many of the companies posting new tech jobs on Indeed in late November were from industries such as consulting, financial services and aerospace.

"The economic environment and the labor market remain relatively healthy for tech jobs," said Scott Dobroski, Indeed career expert. "Currently, many employment opportunities for tech workers are outside of traditional tech companies."

U.S. aerospace companies have laid off more than 100,000 workers during the pandemic but have been hiring at a rapid pace as they struggle with supply chain problems caused by staffing shortages.

Greg Hayes, Chief Executive at Raytheon Technologies, a US company in the aerospace business, said last summer he was optimistic that layoffs at tech companies will ease Raytheon's hiring problems.

"We're starting to see those who laid off becoming more interested in us," said Mike Dippold, Chief Financial Officer of Leonardo DRS Inc. (base in Arlington, Virginia), a provider of defense technology. Like its peers, the defense sensor company's staffing situation is starting to improve, but there are still more open positions than expected.

We examined the employment of the Undergraduate Class of 2021 and 2022 from Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science, who were supposedly greatly affected by the epidemic and layoffs. Currently, except for the graduates who continue to pursue post-graduate studies, 98% of them are employed, with an average salary of $129,235.

Source: CMU

Even as the hiring market cools down, computer science's "high-paying" status remains. According to the employment data forecast by the US government, by 2030, the number of jobs in the tech industry will continue to see significant increase.

If you are one of the many prospective engineering students concerned about the future of the tech industry, now may be the time to reflect on your interest. Did you choose your major because of its once promising job prospect, or did you choose from your heart? There is certainly nothing wrong about being practical about major choices. But on the other hand, setbacks like what we witness now can test students' intellectual and professional drive better than anything else.

At the end of the day, choosing a major and a future career should be a balance between practicality and idealism, a result of negotiating real world concerns and beliefs.

At Enlighteens, as a group of realist idealistic educators, we believe in finding a purpose and a path for every student with their unique backgrounds and strengths, and we want to help every student and their family at any stage in their education and career planning, with the bigger picture in mind.

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