Tech jobs: Outlook for hiring is still uncertain

New job listings for developers fell between the first and second quarter of 2020, except in two major tech cities.

Developer: These are the jobs and languages that pay you the most

Early on in the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic, there were signs that hiring for tech workers would remain resilient compared with other sectors as companies bulked up on tech talent to support remote working.  

But, according to data from Stack Overflow, there has been a notable decline in new job postings between Q1 2020 and Q2 2020 in most major tech cities in Europe and the US with the exception of Seattle, Washington and Munich, Germany. 

Taking March as the beginning of COVID-era data, Q1 2020 could be seen as an indicator of normal pre-COVID data on new jobs listings, while Q2 2020 should reflect the impact that the pandemic, remote working and restrictions have had on hiring tech talent. 

SEE: Virtual hiring tips for job seekers and recruiters (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The average number of job postings per month in Seattle rose from 142 in Q1 to 367 in Q2, marking a 158% quarter-on-quarter increase. A similar jump happened in Munich, where average monthly job listings rose from 68 to 163, or 140%. 

In Boston, average monthly job listings declined 29%, while in New York listings fell 11%. In San Francisco, Washington DC, Berlin and London, tech job listings declined between 23% and 32%. 

Meanwhile, the average number of applications per job rose across the two quarters in Boston, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Munich. In those cities, average views on job listings also grew significantly, suggesting more developers were spending time searching for new work.  

However, in Seattle, average applications per job fell, while monthly views on job listings remained consistent. 

But there's conflicting data coming from other sources. Dice, a tech-hiring platform, recently used Burning Glass Technologies' data to compare tech job postings between May 2020 and June 2020 in major US cities. Between May and June, job postings in Pittsburg and San Francisco grew by over 40%. 

Month-over-month job postings grew between 34% and 39% in Boston, Denver, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Even in New York job postings grew 26% over the period.

SEE: The CIO has a new set of priorities and problems: Here's what's on their to-do list

In the UK, a survey by tech recruiter Harvey Nash found that 82% of IT leaders in the UK expect their staff headcount to increase and at least not decline. Nonetheless, the research found hiring slow for permanent tech positions, while there was an uptick in hiring of IT contractors as companies sought quick access to specialists to help deliver digital projects. 

Stack Overflow's data did show differences in the top languages developers are interested in within each market. In Berlin and New York, Python was the top language, while in Boston, London and Munich, Java and JavaScript were the top languages. In San Francisco and Seattle, Java was the top language. In Washington, Python, Java and JavaScript were the top languages. 

Markets where Python leads suggests a greater interest in data science, while Java could be seen as an indicator of back-end enterprise development, and JavaScript is more widely used for web application projects.