Tech’s Outlook Seems Stronger Than Fed’s Overall Forecast

The tech sector’s low unemployment rate in was brought into sharp focus yesterday when the Federal Reserve predicted overall unemployment would remain at or above 8 percent for the rest of the year. Compare that to May’s rate for the computer or mathematics sector, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls it, which stood at 3.5 percent.

That low rate is down from the already-low 4.2 percent at the end of 2011. The overall unemployment rate then was 8.5 percent. Today, the overall rate is 8.2 percent.

Driving this dynamic is the push by tech companies to churn out advances in automation technology or productivity tools as their customers try to squeeze out more productivity from their shrinking workforces, says Bodhi Ganguli, an economist with Moody’s Analytics. To accomplish this, tech companies need more professionals.

“Businesses are laying off workers and haven’t been rehiring, so they’re spending money on technology that will make the remaining workers more productive,” Ganguli says.

The takeaway: Though tech employers remain picky as they sort through resumes and work their way through interviews, they’re in definite need of people who’ve got up-to-date skills that match the demands of their customers and industries.

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