Tech Workers Remain in High Demand Despite Brutal 2022 Layoffs

79% of recently hired tech workers who were previously laid off say they found a new job within three months of beginning their job hunt.

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There’s at least one silver lining for tech workers who’ve faced a year of unprecedented layoffs and market instability. Most of the laid-off workers, according to new research, are at least landing on their feet.

Nearly eight in 10 (79%) of recently hired tech workers who were previously laid off say they found a new job within three months of beginning their job hunt, according to ZipRecruiter survey data shared with The Wall Street Journal. Parts of that ZipRecruiter’s national survey data were published last month. Nearly a quarter of those job seekers reported taking less than one month to find a new role. That relatively quick rehiring largely mirrors rehiring in the general economy according to ZipRecruiter, where the median unemployment duration hovers around 8.1 weeks according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Layoffs at tech companies are common, yes, but other tech companies are out-hiring them at higher rates.

For the most part, the laid-off tech workers surveyed found new jobs in the same industry. Specifically, around 74% of the workers found jobs in tech while another 6% and 5% found new jobs in retail or e-commerce and financial services. Another 2% reportedly found jobs in healthcare.

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“Despite the widespread layoffs, hiring freezes, and cost-cutting taking place in tech, many tech workers are finding reemployment remarkably quickly,” ZipRecruiter Chief Economist Julia Pollak. “They’re still the most sought-after workers with the most in-demand skills.”

Massive layoffs and job freezes have touched just about every sector of the tech industry, from high-rolling legacy tech giants to whiplashed cryptocurrency startups and just about everything in between. The reasons for the layoffs vary, with some companies citing rising interest rates and others admitting to having overestimated the staying power of a pandemic-era pivot to online commerce and digital media. Though the 2022 job cuts started off mostly impacting smaller firms, the downturn eventually affected some of the industry’s biggest names like Microsoft and Meta, the latter of which shed 11,000 jobs last month. Then there’s Twitter which, by pure numbers, didn’t lay off the most workers, but did provide a masterclass on exactly how not to part ways with staff. It’s not a great sign, after all, when you have to beg axed workers to come back home.

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All that said, there are still some reasons to remain cautious moving forward. Tech workers who lost their jobs in more recent rounds of layoffs appear to be having a slightly harder time finding work than those hired earlier on. 50% of rehiring tech workers who were laid off in February, according to ZipRecruiter, managed to find a new job within one month of their search. That figure dropped down to 37% for workers who lost their jobs recently.