Tech startups have struggled to get more people to work in their fields, a new report from the Economic Policy Institute shows.
They’ve also been hiring slower than their rivals, who have been boosting their workforce.
In 2017, tech startups hired 4.7 percent more workers than their closest competition.
The report, released Tuesday, is the latest to show the slow hiring slowdown among tech companies.
The report’s authors say the hiring slowdown was mostly a product of a shift in the nature of work for tech workers.
Instead of working for the firm, they worked for a freelancer, for example, or for a client.
Companies are increasingly looking to contractors to handle their workloads, said Aaron Zelin, a senior fellow at the EPI who led the report.
The result is that there’s less competition for the most skilled and valuable workers, Zelin said.
That’s a concern for companies that rely on those workers, as well as those with the most to lose, he said.
Tech companies are also losing talent in part because they’ve been losing some of those workers to the cloud, where companies can work for low wages.
That’s creating a talent shortage, Zolin said.
That, combined with other factors, including slower economic growth, means there are fewer tech workers in the labor force, the EPI study found.
The EPI report found that in 2017, nearly a quarter of workers with at least a bachelor’s degree worked for companies in the tech sector.
The tech sector accounted for about 8 percent of all workers, or nearly 7 million workers.
Some of those people were already in the workforce before joining the tech industry.
They were employed in other industries, like education and health care, and they were still looking for work.
But those jobs were mostly in service-oriented fields, like software development and IT, and didn’t necessarily have a big tech-based clientele, according to the report’s data.
The report found a similar trend for workers in other fields, including healthcare, education, retail, health care and government, but that trend was reversed in the last quarter of the year, with a decline of about 8,000 workers.
In 2017, technology firms had an average salary of $75,000, which was slightly higher than the $69,000 that tech firms earned in 2016, the report said.
And in the first quarter of 2018, tech firms had more than 1.3 million employees, about 2.3 percent of the total workforce, the most of any industry.
While the unemployment rate for tech companies was 6.7 percentage points lower than the unemployment level for the overall labor force in the same quarter of 2017, it was still 11 percentage points higher than in the year before.
The EPI said the unemployment is still higher than it was in the recession years of 2007 to 2008.
A more permanent labor shortage is creating an underutilized and underserved labor pool for tech, the study found, with more than half of the workers employed in the technology sector looking for a job in the coming year.
“There is a labor shortage in the United States that could be a problem in the future,” Zelin wrote in an email.