Tech professionals continue to have rosy prospects in the job market.
Unemployment in the U.S. technology sector for late-2014 reached the lowest level recorded since 2008, jobs site Dice.com is reporting this week. Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dice.com noted the average unemployment rate of 2.5 percent for technology professionals was slightly less than the third quarter's 2.7 percent rate. For the entire year, the average rate of 2.7 percent was a "significant decline" from the 3.6 percent average rate in 2013.
Layoffs, though, increased for the first two months of the fourth quarter, based on preliminary data. There were 464,000 layoffs, a dramatic increase from the 340,000 discharges in October and November of 2013. "How layoffs play out in 2015 is yet to be seen, but only 10 percent in the Dice hiring survey say layoffs are likely," Dice.com said.
Indeed, jobless rates dropped for a long list of technology professionals last year. Dice.com's list includes Web developers, computer systems analysts, computer support professionals programmers, network and systems integrators, software developers, computer and information systems managers, data administrators and network architects. "It proved to be a particularly good year for programmers, computer and information systems managers, and computer support specialists, whose unemployment rates were nearly cut in half from 2013," Dice.com said.
"2014 signaled a strong year for tech professionals, and demand for qualified tech candidates remains high," said Shravan Goli, Dice.com president, in the report. "Recruiters continue to be eager to land top tech talent, and candidates hold all of the cards, driving up counteroffers and taking the lead in the negotiation process."
In technology consulting, 26,500 jobs were added in the fourth quarter while 72,300 jobs were added for the year. But data processing, hosting, and related services saw 700 jobs lost last quarter, although there was an annual gain of 5,300 positions. The bureau also said 473,500 persons on average in the professional and business services category quit their positions in the first two months of the fourth quarter in 2014, a slight downturn from the 487,500 professionals who chose to leave their positions this same time last year but above the 10-year average of 415,000 professionals.
"While voluntary departures dipped slightly in the first two months of the fourth quarter, other measures show candidates are still confident in their prospects," Dice.com said. "In Dice's latest hiring survey, 64 percent of hiring managers said they are seeing candidates ask for more money than they were six months ago, while 29 percent said they are seeing more candidates reject offers."
Dice.com recently reported that Java developers continue to be in great demand. Security professionals and those with Microsoft .Net skills also are being sought.