Tech jobs, which took a hit during the first months of the pandemic, are on the rebound and likely to surge this year.
“We’re very bullish on hiring in 2021, particularly in tech,” labor economist Julia Pollak told Crunchbase.
Likewise, Art Zeile, CEO of the company that owns the tech job site Dice.com, said, “We believe that there will be a post-pandemic explosion of interest in technologists, and that includes within startups, with so many focusing on technological innovation.”
The availability of COVID vaccines is one of the key reasons behind the optimism, Pollak said. “There’s sort of an end to the pandemic in sight now.”
In the early days of the pandemic, businesses focused on building out their remote work capability. In so many cases, less critical projects were put on hold or never started leading to layoffs of tech workers.
According to ZipRecruiter data, tech job postings fell from about 1 million in February 2020 to just under half a million in June. Job listings began to rise only slowly, reaching almost 800,000 in November. However, unemployment in the tech sector never came close to the national rate. In July, when unemployment nationally was at 10.2%, the rate among tech professionals was 4.4%, CompTIA reported. In November, the tech rate was 2.4%.
Perhaps spooked by the layoffs in an industry that historically provides lavish benefits and pay premiums, a malaise has settled over tech workers. A poll of 1,348 readers of the tech site Blind found a third admitting they are constantly anxious about losing their job; 54% said the feeling comes and goes.
That may account for the number of applicants per job posting to ZipRecruiter, which Pollak told Crunchbase was “very high.”
Now, with vaccines becoming available and as the pace of business increases and delayed IT projects get back on track, IT hiring will accelerate. Research consultancy IDC estimates global tech industry revenue will hit $5 trillion in 2021, up from $4.8 trillion in 2020.
Microsoft estimates the number of technology-oriented jobs – will increase nearly five-fold by 2025, rising from 41 million in 2020 to 190 million in 2025. If Microsoft is right, to reach that number 2021 will be a banner year for tech job growth.