Tech unemployment stays down, and demand for consultants soars

More signs of growing worker confidence: Increase in rejected job offers and in employees quitting their jobs

Unemployment for technology professionals remains low, with tech consultants particularly in demand, according to jobs site's Tech Trends report for the second quarter of this year.

The unemployment rate for technology professionals increased slightly in the second quarter of this year, going from 2.7 percent last quarter to 3 percent, but it's still better than the same quarter a year ago, when it was 3.6 percent. The rate tends to bounce around and is not seasonally adjusted for technology professionals, so comparing this year's second quarter to the second quarter of 2013 is more meaningful, Dice representative Rachel Ceccarelli said.

Dice observed considerable growth in technology consulting, with the creation of 27,500 new positions.  "For the first half of the year, we've seen 42,300 jobs created in tech consulting, eclipsing last year by 4,800 positions. The tech industry has already shown tremendous momentum since the recession, and it appears that steady drumbeat is continuing into 2014," said Dice President Shravan Goli in the report.

During the first two months of the quarter, 481,000 employees in the professional and business services space quit their jobs, surpassing last year's number of 416,500 during the same time period. More job offers are being rejected as well; both trends are signs of increased confidence in professionals.

On the downside, 425,000 professionals were laid off in April and May on average, exceeding last year's 407,500 registered layoffs during the same time period. However, 79 percent of hiring managers focused on technology professionals say layoffs are unlikely in the next six months.

For Web developers, the unemployment rate in the second quarter was 5.8 percent, but for software developers, the rate was 2.3 percent. Programmers, who Dice sees as persons who write code based on designs from software developers and engineers, had a rate of 2.7 percent.

The unemployment rate for computer systems analysts was 4.9 percent, while it was 2.9 percent for computer support specialists and 2.5 percent for network and systems administrators. Network architects had a microscopic unemployment rate of 1.1 percent, with database administrators (1.2 percent) and computer and information systems managers (1.6 percent) rating slightly higher. bases its report on its analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data and relies on official BLS job descriptions.

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