Demand for IT talent takes the sting out of tech sector layoffs

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Dive Brief:

  • A strong market for IT talent softened the impact of tech sector layoffs this year. Nearly three-quarters of laid-off tech workers found jobs within three months, according to a data analysis dating back to March by workforce intelligence company Revelio Labs.
  • Major career setbacks have not been widespread, the report said. Just over half of laid off workers — 52% — got a pay bump in their new position, as compared to 65% of those who switched jobs voluntarily.
  • While a disparity between layoffs and voluntary outflows was expected, the relatively small difference is telling, Reyhan Ayas, senior economist at Revelio Labs, said in an interview with CIO Dive. “Many laid off workers are enjoying the benefits of a red-hot job market, receiving raises as they transition to new jobs,” she said.

Dive Insight:

Even against a backdrop of attrition in the tech sector workforce, broad demand for talent in other sectors has taken the sting out of recent layoffs.

“The stigma associated with being laid off in the tech sector is gone,” Art Zeile, president and CEO of DHI Group, parent company of technology jobs marketplace Dice, told CIO Dive.

Outside of the tech sector, technologists with cyber, data and cloud skills are in particularly high demand, according to Zeile.

Job posting volume for tech workers grew 25% during the first ten months of 2022 as compared to the same period last year, according to Dice’s end-of-year tech job report.

Engineering talent and Agile methodology, as well as SQL, Python and Java programming, were some of the most sought-after skills, the report said.

Workforce volatility has been rampant in the tech sector, where Alphabet, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft and Twitter all announced recent hiring freezes, slowdowns or layoffs.

According to, nearly 1,000 technology companies have laid off more than 150,000 tech workers since the start of the year. Crunchbase has tracked more than 90,000 layoffs in 2022.

Demand for talent rose year-over-year in most major cities and all but five states, according to Dice, even in tech hubs such as San Francisco, where job postings were up 14.3% year over year.

Availability of tech jobs throughout the country, along with companies hiring remote workers, has further eased the transition from one employer to the next. Only one in ten laid off workers has changed cities for their new job, according to Revelio.

The market has asymmetries.

Tech sector sales associates, software engineers, marketers, data analysts and recruiters had a relatively easy time finding employment, according to Revelio. Distribution specialists, quality assurance testers and communication and public relations staff had a slightly lower rate of success, with nearly one-third failing to find work within three months.

Revelio tracked an increase in the number of accounts created on technology freelancer networks during the year, Ayas said. Laid off tech workers opting out of the traditional workforce likely accounts for a portion of roughly 30% who did not find a new employer within three months.

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