Nearly a third of technology professionals are actively searching for a new job, according to the annual Tech Sentiment Report released Oct. 24 by tech jobs website Dice, a DHI Group Inc. (NYSE: DHX) brand. In addition, 60% are considering changing employers within the next year, up from 52% in last year’s report.

With a tech unemployment rate of 2.2%, well below the national average of 3.8%, these job seekers know they still have room to negotiate for the benefits and salaries they want — especially if they are proficient in high-demand skills or experienced in popular tech roles, according to the report.

“Tech professionals are a very resilient group of people, and the results from our Tech Sentiment Report show both their strength of character and an understanding of their position in the market right now,” Dice CEO Art Zeile said in a press release.

“Yes, we are in the midst of what I call a tech recession, in that tech is being adversely affected while other areas are experiencing a faster recovery,” Zeile said. “But demand remains high for tech professionals who have the skills to help companies with tech infrastructure, engineering in all of its many uses, cybersecurity, and data science and management; companies simply can’t afford to employ them.”

He noted tech professionals know they’re in demand, so they’re continuing to search for environments that are right for them and offer the right cultures and values, the right kinds of work, and the right benefits based on their unique needs and wants.

Other findings:

Continued demand for balance and flexibility. Nearly 63% of respondents said their work-life balance hasn’t improved since last year, an increase from 56% in 2022. In addition, 73% said it is “extremely” or “very” important to have the opportunity to work remotely at least three days a week with their next role or organization.

Salary transparency. Many tech professionals reported that a company’s salary transparency is a key indicator of its commitment to pay equity, with 63% saying a lack of salary transparency is a signal that a company is not committed to pay equity and 75% agreeing that not showing the salary for a position makes them think it will be less competitive or lower than average. Despite this, only 44% of HR professionals surveyed said all of their job posts disclose pay information.

Employer brand and company culture. Nearly nine in 10 tech professionals said that an employer's brand is important when considering a new role, and a majority said they would not apply for a higher-paying role at a company with a bad reputation. In addition, more than 80% of tech professional respondents said corporate culture is the most important component of an employer’s brand.

Dice conducted two separate surveys to produce the 2023 Tech Sentiment Report. The Q2 2023 Technology Professionals Sentiment Survey, conducted online between June 20 and July 2, generated 709 qualified responses from fully employed technology professionals residing in the US; the Q3 2023 Employer Sentiment Survey, conducted between July 19 and July 27, generated 224 qualified responses from human resources professionals from direct-hire organizations that recruit and employ tech talent. The report also includes historical trend analyses from the Q4 2022 Salary Survey and the Q3 2022 Technology Professional Sentiment Survey.

The US economy may be poised for an upswing. Labor data now points to a more optimistic view of the economy’s trajectory, according to the Winter 2023-24 US Labor Market report released by Magnit, a provider of VMS, MSP, employer-of-record and other services.

“Our hiring, voluntary termination, and rate-of-change data analyses indicate positive shifts ahead, as does the influx of innovation from artificial intelligence,” Dustin Burgess, senior VP of strategic advisory at Magnit, said in a press statement.

“It’s going to be a time of great opportunity for employers who prepare strategies that take advantage of the evolving labor market,” Burgess added.

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • The US economy appears poised for an upswing. While some industries might face hiring decreases or layoffs in the coming months, others will likely see staffing increases. For example, layoffs for warehouse worker and material handler roles accounted for 19% of all layoffs between the third quarters of 2022 and 2023 — the largest share of any roles. In contrast, hiring for marketing and business development roles reached a two-year high in the second quarter of this year.
  • Voluntary terminations are rising, and companies should prepare. While voluntary termination rates reached a three-year low in March 2023, they have risen over the past six months, according to Magnit. This trend is likely to continue should hiring volumes stabilize or increase in 2024; Magnit’s research shows hiring volume and voluntary terminations tend to have a positive correlation.
  • Organizations may want to rethink their approach to layoffs. Magnit data shows that some industries have laid off workers only to rebuild a significant portion of that workforce within the same year. For example, despite significant amounts of layoffs for warehouse worker and material handler roles, hiring for these roles was up 51% in the third quarter of this year compared to the same quarter last year. This net increase in hiring amounted to 81% of all layoffs for these roles across the prior 12 months combined.
  • Demand for AI skills is exploding. AI skills are no longer contained in IT/technology silos; they have spread to other fields such as finance/accounting, engineering, and operation, according to Magnit. The uptick in demand for AI skills is particularly high in software engineering roles, with references to AI in job descriptions growing from 0.5% in 2019 to 3.3% this year. Magnit estimates this figure could nearly double by the end of 2024.

The report includes data from hundreds of thousands of workers across 51,000 roles in the US.

The deadline to take part in the Best Staffing Firms to Work For awards for 2024 has been extended to Nov. 17. The competition is open to staffing firms in North America, the UK, and Ireland.

Winning companies will be identified based on the results of an employee engagement survey of staffing firms’ internal employees and a net promoter score survey of their temporary and contract employees.

Firms taking part will receive a complimentary employee engagement summary report.

 If you can't beat them, buy them.

For years, a little-known company called Tooling & Equipment International (TEI) has helped Tesla (TSLA.O) push back the frontiers of "gig casting", the process it pioneered to cast large body parts for cars in one piece to save time and money.

Until 2023, that is. TEI is now part of General Motors (GM.N) after agreeing on a deal that may have flown under the radar but is a key part of the U.S. automaker's strategy to make up ground on Tesla, four people familiar with the transaction said.

By snapping up a specialist in sand casting techniques that accelerated the development of Tesla's gigacasting molds and allowed it to cast more complex components, GM has jump-started its own push to make cars more cheaply and efficiently at a time when Tesla is racing to roll out a $25,000 EV, the people said.

With TEI gone, Tesla is leaning more heavily on three other casting specialists it has used in Britain, Germany, and Japan to develop the huge molds needed for the millions of cheaper EVs it plans to make in the coming decade, the four people said.

At the same time, Tesla is scrambling to find another sand casting specialist to fill the role TEI performed, or even develop such crucial expertise in-house to cut its reliance on outside suppliers, the people said.

"General Motors acquired Tooling & Equipment International (TEI) to bolster its portfolio of innovations and secure access to unique casting technology," GM said in a statement to Reuters in response to questions for this story.

Tesla and TEI President Oliver Johnson did not respond to requests for comment.

Like GM, a host of automakers from Ford F.N to Hyundai (005380.KS) to Toyota (7203.T) are trying to ape Tesla's gigacasting know-how to match its design and manufacturing efficiency and avoid being undercut on the showroom floor.

Gigacasting is core to Tesla's "unboxed" manufacturing strategy unveiled by Chief Executive Elon Musk in March, which he hopes will slash the assembly costs of the next generation of cars by half.

The strategy hinges on producing the structural platform and subframes of a car in one piece using gig casting and then snapping it together at the end with the other parts of the vehicle being made in parallel.

That gig casting know-how, which uses casts made out of industrial sand with 3D printing, has been made possible in part by TEI along with the three other suppliers Tesla has been using.


Reuters has reported that the work of these four firms has been a key reason why Tesla can now develop a car from the ground up in 18 to 24 months, and do so economically, while most rivals can currently take anywhere from three to four years.

The specialists use sand casting in a process called rapid prototyping to help validate Tesla's designs and engineering specifications for its giant molds quickly and cheaply.

According to all four sources, TEI began helping Tesla around 2017 to develop the Model Y and is considered in the industry to be one of the world's top sand casting specialists.

Since then, TEI has been involved in gigacasting mold prototyping for Tesla's Model 3, Cybertruck, and its heavy-duty Semi truck, according to two of the sources.

When TEI's Johnson put the company up for sale last year, GM would have had a good idea about what gigacasting know-how it might get its hands on.

GM's realization, the four sources said, certainly came when it conducted due diligence and was probably well before that as it had turned to TEI around 2021 to test and produce some underbody castings for its luxury $340,000 Cadillac Celestiq EV, which is due to hit showrooms next year.

As part of that program, GM signed a guaranteed, long-term contract and TEI invested in a new dedicated production line for the Celestiq at its base in Livonia, a 25-minute drive from GM's Detroit headquarters, one of the sources said.

"Bringing TEI into the GM enterprise builds on decades of the company's own casting experience and provides a competitive advantage with strategic castings for future low volume products like the Cadillac Celestiq," GM said in its statement.

TEI won the 2023 Casting of the Year award from the American Foundry Society for those Celestiq castings.

It formally became part of GM's Global Manufacturing division, which oversees all of GM's automobile and parts manufacturing operations, on July 1, according to one of the sources with direct knowledge.

"TEI will remain its own business entity with GM as its parent company," GM said.

Two of the sources with direct knowledge said GM paid less than $100 million for TEI, with one of them estimating it paid $80 million at the most. Reuters was unable to determine whether Tesla was one of the several companies that bid for TEI.


While Tesla has leaped ahead of rivals when it comes to manufacturing techniques and appears to be putting more distance between it and the rest of the auto industry, the TEI deal has given GM a front-row view of how Tesla honed its gigacasting expertise.

TEI and others make test molds out of industrial sand. Using a digital design file, 3D printers known as binder jets build a sand mold that can cast molten alloys.

Among the key benefits of this method is that a sand mold can be printed quickly, and then reprinted multiple times at a minimal cost to tweak and adjust mold designs.

TEI and the three other specialists have been particularly important for Tesla in coming up with new alloys to be used in sand casts, as well as techniques for heat-treating the large metal body parts once they've been molded to improve their quality, Reuters has reported.

James Womack, a former research director at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believes Musk's new manufacturing initiatives have come as a shock to the legacy auto industry "shaking up everyone else".

"It even woke up Toyota - the industry's current very best in manufacturing - to embrace gig casting and other innovations from Tesla," said Womack, co-author of "The Machine That Changed The World", the 1990 book about Toyota's lean production system.

Womack believes the competition to achieve even greater efficiency is far from over.

"Gigacasting and unboxed are worthy of experiments, but cutting-edge endeavors almost always take more time than initially projected to reach maturity and some experiments will fail," said Womack.

Lawmakers in Massachusetts spent Tuesday morning hearing overwhelming support for a four-day workweek as they consider a bill that would launch a pilot program if passed.

Many four-day workweeks mean 10-hour days, still equaling 40-hour weeks. Massachusetts' bill, heard by the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, would reword legislation to say four days and 32 hours in a workweek without any reduction in overall pay.

Democratic Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven filed House Bill 3599 in January that would implement the four-day workweek. 

Democratic Reps. Dylan Fernandes and Josh Cutler presented House Bill 3849 in April which would give tax credits to businesses in the state that join a pilot program to explore possible benefits of a shorter work week.

Massachusetts capitol close up

The Massachusetts State House is in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston. (Sergi Reboredo/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"There's clear evidence that the model of a 32-hour week with 40 hours pay works for both employees and businesses," Juliet Schor, an economist and Boston College professor, testified during the hearing. "In these very high turnover businesses like restaurants... these companies find their employees stop quitting."

Shor is a part of the 4 Day Week Global Academic Board, a nonprofit whose website says they are the "world's largest" organization advocating for a four-day workweek. 

Business owners and leaders also testified in the hearing, including Kickstarter's chief strategy officer Jon Leland, who said the company with 120 employees implemented a four-day workweek in April 2022.

"We don't lose employees anymore," he said while adding the company's percentage of achieved goals rose.

Boston skyline at sunset from Harvard

State Capitol and skyline along the Charles River, viewed from Harvard Bridge at sunset. (Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Massachusetts Sen. John Velis, a Democrat, previously told Western Mass News he did not believe the bill for the two-year program named "Massachusetts Smart Week Pilot," where participating employers would agree to transition at least 15 workers to a shortened workweek, would make it very far.

Massachusetts capitol with people walking by in the snow

Residents walk near the Massachusetts State Capitol after a blizzard in Boston on Jan. 30, 2022. (Allison Dinner/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"We are in the midst of a profound labor shortage right now," Velis said. "There’s not enough people to do jobs for all intents and purposes to keep institutions and businesses and restaurants and hospitals, and nursing homes functioning."

Massachusetts lawmakers are preparing to go on their nearly seven-week winter break, according to the legislative calendar. Bill sponsor Fernandes told Boston 25 News the bill would need to pass by this summer prior to the pilot program hopefully starting in 2025.

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