The outlook for tech careers changes very often and it can be hard to understand the health of the tech labor economy.
Growing up in the late 90s, I was told it was silly to aspire to work in tech. The Dot-com bubble had just burst and unemployment for IT and computer professionals skyrocketed. Profits were sliced as investments were withdrawn and a looming fear undertook the tech industry. Would the markets ever recover?
10 years later in the early 2000s, IT and programming become the hottest skills. “Forget going to school to become a doctor or dentist, you can build video games in your underwear and earn the same salary!”
Fast forward another 10 years and coding boot camps are popping up to increase the supply of computer professionals, the industry is on fire. “Within 3 months you can earn $100k salaries and have ping pong tables at work!”
Read the news today… and you’ll be surprised to hear the same Fear Uncertainty and Doubt that permeated the late 90s. Fears of venture capital withdrawals, Uncertainty of the tech economy, and Doubt over the tech labor market.
To find the truth behind this, I took a look at tech market labor statistics from the US BLS. With data you can expose F.U.D. for what it really is.
■ Employment Level, All Occupations, All Industries (in thousands)
■ Employment Level, Computer and Mathematical Occupations, All Industries (in thousands)
This graph compares the employment levels for all occupations vs employment for computer and mathematical occupations for the last 10 years. Computer and mathematical occupations includes job titles such as software developers, system engineers, system administrators, and other tech professions.
One of the most notable features of the graph is the sharp down-tick for all occupations in March/April 2020. It’s a prominent feature that will be obvious in graphs even 20-30 years from now. Despite this event, computer and mathematical occupations were relatively unphased. In fact, the graph for computer and mathematical occupations appear to demonstrate growth and stability throughout the entire 10 year period.
If you compare April 2022 tech employment (5,865) to April 2021 (5,686), you have a yearly growth of 3.14%, over 179,000 jobs!
Yes, maybe a hiring freeze for one of your favorite tech giants made the news, but the tech economy is much larger than 5 companies. Believe it or not, it even exists outside the Bay Area.
Source: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics
Charts: TradingView Lightweight Charts
Don’t let Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt blind you. At 0SBS we open your eyes to data and release statistics and insights on the US tech economy.