According to TechServe Alliance, an association of IT and engineering staffing and solutions firms, technology hiring grew by 3,200 jobs in November, 3,100 jobs in October and 6,100 jobs in September – a pace well off the gains posted earlier this year. “We are noticing a clear deceleration in the rate of growth,” said Mark Roberts, the Alliance’s CEO.
However, the group did note 28 months of consecutive job growth in IT. The industry now employs 4.5 million people, up 180,200 jobs this year, it said.
Meanwhile Janco Associates, which generally takes a conservative view of tech hiring, has called the IT job market “anemic.” The firm’s study looks at a smaller data set, and found only 400 IT jobs added in November, and 4,300 added over the past three months.
Based on interviews with 104 CIOs over the past two weeks, Janco says that tech executives and their companies have grown more cautious. It attributes that to lingering uncertainty about the economy and another round of government sequestration coming in January. Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis notes that states that have high numbers of IT workers – such as California, Washington and Virginia — also have big defense installations likely to be affected.
On the other hand, a look ahead by recruiter Robert Half Technology estimates that 16 percent of U.S. CIOs plan to add to their teams in the first half of 2014, an increase of 5 percentage points from this year’s second half. For companies that operate on a calendar year, that means new budgets are in place to get new projects rolling. Fewer companies embark on new projects during the second half of the year.
Most (67 percent) will continue to fill only vacancies on their staffs, while 15 percent plan to put hiring plans on hold. Just 2 percent expect to reduce their IT staffing levels. RHT’s projections are based on interviews with more than 2,300 CIOs from 23 major U.S. markets.
“We continue to see strong demand for IT professionals across the United States,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. “Professionals with skills in mobile applications development, data analytics and networking are in especially high demand.”
Recently, Wanted Analytics said software developers were the most-sought-after IT professionals, with 232,000 jobs advertised online in the past 90 days. That’s an increase of 3 percent over the same period in 2012, and more than 120 percent from four years ago.
Robert Half found that 88 percent of CIOs are somewhat or very confident in their company’s growth prospects for the first six months of 2014, an increase of 2 percentage points from six months ago. And 69 percent were confident that their firms will invest in IT projects in the first half of 2014, a rise of 6 percentage points.