Economists at the hiring website Indeed say user data indicate that the technology job market may not be living up to some expectations about how hard it is to find workers.
Assertions that technology jobs change so fast that job seekers can’t keep up, and employer grumblings about a skills shortage, don’t match the evidence based on the company’s job seeker résumés and employment postings from 2014 through 2018, an Indeed study shows.
“While the tech labor market does face some unique challenges, the rhetoric is more dire than the reality,” economists Martha Gimbel and Tara Sinclair wrote in a report published by the Austin, Texas-based company last week. “Compared with recruitment in the overall economy, it has become easier for employers to find tech talent in recent years.”
Tech job seekers are actually better matched to current job opportunities in their industry than employment seekers in the broader economy. Jobs in the overall economy are changing faster than job postings for tech positions, according to the report by Gimbel, research director at Indeed’s Hiring Lab and a former Labor Department economist, and Sinclair, a senior fellow at the lab and economics professor at George Washington University.
Listings on Indeed were 25 percent different for the study period versus 18 percent in tech, and within the sector, demand for software engineers and some kinds of developers jumped the most over the four years.
Another surprise was that employers found it easier to find tech talent compared with four years earlier. The training industry that caters to aspiring programmers and developers grew, and as a result employers were better able to find workers with the right skill sets.
Though the skills gap in tech was smaller than the overall economy, the shortfall has increased in recent years as companies struggle to find data scientists and software engineers. Meanwhile, positions for tech support roles and IT technicians were easier to fill.