New York City employers say they are still hungry for tech talent, despite market turmoil

“We’re in a period of uncertainty over several fronts,” said Laura Peterson, senior managing director at Accenture. “But from our view, we are continuing to see demand” for tech-related hirings.

The skills most in demand are cybersecurity, cloud computing and artificial intelligence, according to Accenture’s survey. There is also growing demand for blockchain-skilled developers, the poll found, despite falling prices of cryptocurrencies.

The companies hiring people with those skills are just the usual suspects within the tech industry. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan are among the city’s largest employers of technologists. Accenture surveyed company leaders from the banking, health care, education, retail and technology industries.

Amazon and Facebook parent Meta have indicated they will be hiring on a scale back, but struggling technology stocks do not always mean a slowdown in hiring. Rachel Glaser, chief financial officer at Etsy, said on an earnings call last week that the company expects to grow its head count this year, and that the e-commerce company’s share value is down about 60% from the start of the year.

Layoffs meet the Great Resignation

There were 33 known tech layoffs in April and May, costing about 7,900 people their jobs globally, according to layoffs.fyi, which compiles data from online reports. High-profile layoffs happend at the weight-loss company Noom, where 470 people lost their jobs, and at a used-car seller Vroom, where 270 workers were cut.

Layoffs.fyi had tallied more than 52,000 tech industry layoffs in April and May 2020, when the onset of the pandemic caused firms to cut back sharply. The unemployment rate for technology-related roles was less than 2% two months ago, according to industry group CompTIA, compared with about 5% in spring 2020.

Nearly 90% of executives surveyed by Accenture and Tech: NYC said they were confident they could hire the talent they needed in New York. But that doesn’t mean company leaders are having an easier time hiring and retaining workers. The so-called Great Resignation still appears to be in force. American employers posted a record 11.5 million job openings in March, while 4.5 million Americans quit or changed positions, according to the most recent federal data.

Almost all executives in the Tech: NYC / Accenture poll said employee retention is a significant or extremely significant concern in their organization. About 70% said they were raising wages to retain employees, and 43% said they were considering a four-day workweek, although such arrangements were still fairly rare.

New pipelines

A worker-driven market is prompting employers to find new pathways for attracting workers. About 72% of residents said they were seeking partners in workforce development programs, while two-thirds said they were promoting their focus on internal upskilling.

Tech: NYC has partnered with Mayor Eric Adams’ administration on the Tech Year NYC program, which is designed to offer paid, project-based work at local technology companies for 1,000 students as part of the city’s summer youth employment program.

“We know there is going to be a need,” said Jason Myles Clark, Executive Director of Tech: NYC. “We need to be able to build the infrastructure so that people who want to get into the tech can get the background and the training they need.”

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