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All those tech workers who’ve been laid off this year? New data suggests they’re going to be just fine in the job market.

silicon valley TV show HBOTech workers are not likely to be out of a job for long.

Jaimie Trueblood/HBO

  • Tech layoffs are rampant; last month alone, Amazon cut 10,000 workers and Meta slashed 11,000.
  • But data shows job postings for tech-focused roles are up 25% this year.
  • Most of the job growth is coming from nontech sectors, such as healthcare, defense, and banking.

The economy has not been kind to tech workers lately. 

Last month alone, Amazon cut 10,000 workers, Meta slashed 11,000 roles, and Twitter fired 3,750, or about half its workforce, amid high inflation and the threat of a recession.

But a newly released report suggests this group of workers ought to look on the bright side: Their job prospects appear pretty darn good. Job postings for tech-focused roles were up 25% from January to October, compared with the same period in 2021. The report, from Dice, a tech-careers site, found that companies posted more than 375,000 tech jobs in sectors including finance, consulting, healthcare.

Andrew Flowers, the lead labor economist at Appcast, a software firm that helps companies target recruitment ads, told Insider the recent high-profile layoffs “deserve a footnote” in the employment data but not a blaring headline.

“Giants like Meta, Amazon, and Twitter take up a lot of air space — and for good reason because they employ a lot of people in the tech industry,” he said. “But they do not define it.”

In other words, while a handful of Silicon Valley companies capture an enormous amount of media attention, they’re not reflective of wider industry trends and demand for tech talent. 

You could do worse than an exit package from Big Tech

Nearly 150,000 tech workers have lost their jobs in 2022, according to the layoff-tracking platform Layoffs.FYI. And there may be more to come before the year is out.

Losing your job is an emotional and financial gut punch, regardless of how privileged the worker is. And getting axed amid recession fears adds to the anxiety. 

Yet if it had to happen, you could do worse than an exit package from Big Tech, Julia Pollak, the chief economist at the jobs site ZipRecruiter, said.

“The best place to be laid off is in tech, where you’re being taken care of,” she said.

Laid-off employees at Meta last month, for instance, got 16 weeks of base pay, plus two weeks for each year of service, and six months of healthcare coverage, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the time. Meanwhile, Amazon provides employees with a lump-sum severance payment equal to three months of pay, plus one week of salary for every six months of tenure at the company, and weekly stipends to offset healthcare premiums, according to company memos. Both companies also provide career support to laid-off employees.

But tech workers are not likely to be out of a job for long. The labor market is still tight and the unemployment rate for the industry remains remarkably low. A December analysis by CompTIA, an industry association, found it was hovering around 2%, while the nation’s overall unemployment rate sits at 3.7%

‘Pent-up demand’ for tech workers in healthcare, defense, and banking

Most of the job growth for tech workers is in other industries, the Dice report found. About 60% of the top 100 employers of tech talent for the first 10 months of the year were from less-glamorous, nontech sectors, like healthcare, defense, and banking. This reflects the reality that technology is both an industry and, at most companies, its own department. 

resumeThe unemployment rate for the tech industry is hovering around 2%, according to an analysis by CompTIA, an industry association.

Narisara Nami/Getty Images

“Every business in the US has to have a digital strategy,” Art Zeile, the CEO of Dice, said. “Coming out of the pandemic, companies realized that they didn’t have an online presence to the degree that they wanted, they didn’t have a work-from-home program, and they didn’t have a cybersecurity program that would allow for remote work. All of these things have created pent-up demand for technology workers.”

For years, companies across industries have struggled to hire engineers, product managers, and data scientists, mainly because they’ve been locked in a competition with Big Tech firms for workers.

“Those companies were growing so fast in 2020 and 2021 that they completely monopolized the tech talent and left no room for anyone else,” ZipRecruiter’s Pollak said.

Now that those firms are in turmoil — laying off workers and instituting hiring freezes — other companies, including insurers, government agencies, and healthcare businesses, will likely seize the recruiting opportunity, she said: “Those companies are all jumping for joy because they can snap up the talent that would have gone to a Google.”

But while demand for tech workers remains high, Pollak said that decreased competition from name-brand companies likely meant the stratospheric pay many Silicon Valley employees commanded would fall back down to earth.

“We are entering a period of cost cutting and increased frugality because of worsening economic conditions,” she said. “The arms race between tech companies on comp and benefits is over.”

Read the original article on Business Insider
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