As the USA once again sits at recession’s edge, the last months have brought more job losses and renewed angst over new tech job prospects. To understand where we are now, a day prior to the monthly BLS jobs number September announcement, it’s time to check the WaveLength Tech Jobs Index. Specifically, how is demand for specific job functions faring and how does this compare to the general labor market in the Bay Area?
As the chart indicates, demand has sharply declined since the heady days of March 2011. As the economy slowly recovered throughout 2010, demand spiked in the six months between September 2010 to its March 2011 peak. From there, declines have been dramatic to result in year over year declines across all tech job functions and the general Bay Area labor market. Technology marketing and sales functions have declined the most, falling nearly 23% year over year. Application developer demand held steady with a very small decline of 1.4%.
Not all the news is bad, though. Remember how bleak the job market was in the summer and fall of 2009? The nation was still in recession with a negative GDP, as opposed to the slow and steady GDP growth throughout 2010. So how has technology job demand changed since that time? Demand for tech jobs is still 83% higher. For application developers, demand is 119% higher and for technology marketing, demand is up 89%. Even demand in the general Bay Area jobs market remains 68% higher from 2 years ago.
Bottom line is our industry still 1) has much healthier demand than it did two years ago, and 2) outperforms the general labor market.
The number of job postings is collected every Wednesday using well-known job sites and then calculated into the index for each job function. The index contains 6 common functions found in every technology company, including product marketing, product management, application developer, network engineer, sales, and marketing. The index series is designed to measure monthly changes using a smoothed 4-week average rolled up into an overall composite. The program was includes coverage of 10 high tech cities since October 28, 2009. We update our research monthly. We feature 10 market segments – Austin, Atlanta, Bay Area, Boston, Dallas, Denver, San Diego, Seattle, Raleigh/Durham, and Washington DC. Feel free to visit http://www.wlanalytics.com/wordpress/