Two focus areas in the technology sector so far this year—advancements in generative artificial intelligence and industry layoffs—may be offsetting each other when it comes to their net impact on the tech workforce.
From January to April, 135,000 tech workers were laid off (according to Crunchbase), but information employment was only down by a net 24,000 jobs during the same period, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Friday. Compared to March, April even saw a small net increase of 1,000 jobs in information employment (the BLS category that most closely reflects the tech sector).
The movement demonstrates the tech sector’s continued resilience, and job number shifts between tech subsectors indicate that laid-off workers may be seeking out opportunities in the AI space, and potentially exploring other industries.
Jobs decreased in the search engine, motion picture and sound recording subsectors—which house many large public tech companies battling margin pressure and managing share prices and which saw decreases in employment of 6,100 and 1,500, respectively, per BLS data—and grew in areas such as computing infrastructure providers/data processing/web hosting and publishing, sectors which house or support the generative AI space (which had employment increases of 7,300 and 1,300, respectively).
April tech employment levels were 59,000 jobs higher than the same month last year and tech unemployment has decreased. In April there were 38,000 unemployed tech workers representing 0.74% of total unemployment compared to 69,000 in April 2022 representing 1.26% of total unemployment at the time, according to BLS data.