Employment engine keeps humming for IT job seekers

Programmers fare well, but some positions, such as Web developers, see rising unemployment

Momentum keeps building in tech industry hiring, with unemployment dropping even lower than before. But it's not all good news, as Web developers and others saw increases in joblessness.

IT jobs site Dice.com's second-quarter tech employment "snapshot," released Tuesday, saw unemployment drop to 2.1 percent -- the lowest rate recorded since 2008 -- based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures. It had been 2.3 percent in the previous quarter and 2.5 percent late last year. The overall U.S. unemployment rate, meanwhile, stands at 5.5 percent.

Programmers experienced a significant decline in unemployment, with their numbers dropping from 6.5 percent in the first quarter to 1.8 percent in the second quarter, and software developers saw a slight decline from 1.5 percent to 1.3 percent. It's also a good time to be in consulting, with professional services and computer systems design persons -- tech consultants -- gaining 25,000 jobs in the quarter. Data processing, hosting, and related services added 5,500 jobs.

But there were some glitches. Unemployment for Web developers climbed from 2.1 percent in the first quarter to 3.1 percent in the second quarter, and computer systems analysts saw their rate jump from 1.7 percent to 2 percent. Other professionals seeing slight increases in unemployment included computer support specialists, network and systems administrators, computer and information systems managers, and database administrators. Computer electronics manufacturing lost 700 jobs, which Dice attributes to a weaker consumer and business appetite for PCs and other hardware.

Preliminary BLS data had average layoffs and discharges in April and May at 441,000 employees per month in the professional and business services sector, which includes more than IT professionals alone, Dice reported. In the first quarter, the number was 424,300 employees per month. BLS data also suggests an average of 493,500 employees per month quit their positions in the professional and business services sector in the first two months of the quarter. This was less than the 514,700 employees who did so in the first quarter of the year and the 444,700 who quit in the second quarter of 2014.

In July, Dice reported an increased demand for cloud architects and those with skills in Puppet and Chef configuration management tools. Cloud architect postings have jumped 147 percent from May 2014 to May 2015, with these professionals commanding an average salary of $142,394 in 2014. The number of job postings for Puppet professionals increased 63 percent between May 2014 and May 2015, with the average salary for Puppet professionals rising to $172,083. For Chef, job postings increased 67 percent between May 2014 and May 2015, with salaries averaging $168,750.


Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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