Employers Look to Contractors in San Diego

San Diego’s IT job market is having its share of good and bad news. In September the area took a hit when Science Applications International Corp (SAIC), a sprawling defense and government contractor that has resided in San Diego for the last 40 years, said it will likely move its corporate headquarters to the Washington, D.C., suburbs. 

San DiegoThat means the number of San Diego’s Fortune 500 firms will go down to two: wireless giant Qualcomm and Sempra Energy, the parent company of San Diego Gas & Electric. Thus far, it’s unclear how many of the 4,500 jobs at San Diego’s SAIC headquarters will be relocated, but the news has hurt the city’s morale. "People are gnashing their teeth over this," says one IT worker, who asked to remain anonymous.

On the bright side, a recent Clean Edge report ranked San Diego number 11 on the list of geographies with the most clean-tech job activity. Plus, the region has a good chance of receiving $260 million worth of federal stimulus funding for photovoltaic solar power production to various municipalities, according to Lisa Bicker, president and chief executive of CleanTech, which works to foster local development of clean technology.

More encouraging news came in early October, when an area technology trade group found San Diego County accounts for 14 percent of the technology businesses started in California during the second quarter of 2009, according to the San Diego Business Journal. The group, Connect, issued its findings in its Innovation Report. Co-author Camille Sobrian noted that 102 technology companies were created in San Diego during the three months ending June 30, a 53 percent increase over the 66 launched during the first three months of 2009.

San Diego Job PostingsOn Dice, job postings in San Diego decreased by 47 percent year-over-year: There were 742 job postings for San Diego in September 2009, compared to 1,406 in September 2008.

However, recruiters are experiencing a pick up in job orders. Tim Thompson, managing director of staffing firm Technisource’s San Diego office, has seen an increase in demand for a variety of skill sets including tier-one help desk, high-end tech architects, project managers, business analysts and application developers for Microsoft and SAP.

"We are definitely up," says Thompson, whose firm deals primarily with contract jobs. "It had steadily decreased from last January to late May, but it started to pick up in early June. Jobs also started to increase in August and slightly increase more in September and October."

Thompson says his clients anticipate increases in hiring in the coming quarters. "There were a lot of layoffs, but now they have to get the work done. If they want to grow, they need to rebuild," he says.  

Robert Childers, senior account executive at Robert Half Technology’s San Diego office, also sees an uptick in both contract and full-time job orders for positions in Windows tech support and business analysis. "It’s welcome to see those pop up," he says. Childers also notes companies are looking for IT pros who can handle desktop support as well as Blackberry PDA support and Blackberry Enterprise Server.

Mel Katz, executive officer at Manpower Professional’s San Diego office, had 94 open job orders when we wrote this – 31 for IT positions including data warehousing, architects, business analysts, business intelligence, CRM specialists, Oracle development, Unix and Linux experience and help desk support. Most were contractor jobs.

7 Responses to “Employers Look to Contractors in San Diego”

  1. Mark Dague

    The blame for the state of the economy rests on BOTH sides of the aisle, going back decades, but California has suffered disproportionately, because of the actions of state government. Schwarzenegger came into office with a multi-billion dollar surplus, and we’re now tens of billions in debt. Tax and spend, tax and spend. This state now has such an anti-business environment, it’s a wonder we have any business here at all! I’ve been out of work since April 24th, with no prospects in sight. Ain’t lookin’ good!

  2. SAIC IT Services employee

    What SAIC has failed to disclose is that they are relocating their IT Services to Orlando. Time frame is summer 2010. There will be 250 IT Services employees in San Diego laid off at that time (if not before).

  3. I relocated here to San Diego during my stint in the Marine Corps and love it so much I stayed out here after I left the service in 05. I was laid off in January of 2009, and the job market was so bad, I tried to start my own business. I thought it would be better. However, this entire county, not just the city, is in really bad shape. There are no jobs here, unless of course you want to work for minimum wage. I didnt go to college for 4 years, serve my country for 9, and gain more than a decade of experience just to work for minimum wage. I earned the level I am currently at. This entire state is suffering really bad. This entire country is suffering even worse. Its not going to get any better folks until after the Dems are voted out. Just do your best to survive as the rest of us are.

  4. Wow George

    George I’m sorry that you are having a tough time finding work, I am too but it has nothing to do with the Democrats.

    After eight years of Bush/Cheney bankrupting this country with the Iraq war, loosening financial regulations (which led to the Wall St meltdown), and lowering taxes for the ultra-wealthy in this country (which decreased government revenue and forced them to cut services) I can’t believe you attribute the current mess to Democrats. No side is completely innocent but Republicans had a majority for eight years and passed all of the “reform” that they wanted to. Here’s the result.

    • George Rapciewicz

      Wow. I cant believe this is still out there. Well, its been 4 years since I started my business. Things have change. Things have changed for the worst. I cannot hire anyone because the workers comp and unemployment insurance, now topped with medical care are through the roof in this state. California is retaxing everyone, and 37% of the businesses have left the state since my October 2009 posting. Sooooo…..the dems have been in power still in this state, Bozama hasnt made any difference, people are still suffering, so now can you still blame Bush? Nope, cant, not applicable, try again.

      California is a mess. In fact, if you look at the Senate and Congress, alot of them are from California. If they cannot manage fiscal policy in this state, what makes you think they will manage it for the country? Its been 4 years since my last posting. What I originally said was true, and is only getting worse. Wake up folks. You do not put people in charge of a country who cannot even manage their own state. The trickle down effect happens. And it did and still is.

  5. Ur Wrong Wow George

    George was speaking about California, the Blue State that is unfriendly to business and whose government is as blue and liberal as it gets, stealing from us Californians in the form of unreal taxes, and a migration out of the state of businesses and jobs because of it.

    You are completely knaive as to the impact the liberal’s spending plans will have on our country. You better invest in commodities and real estate, because inflation is going to go through the roof.

    Forget about your retirement.

    Not sure if you have checked the polls lately, but conservatism is growing thanks to the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama. The three greatest gifts ever to the Republican party. All three are gifts that just keep on giving – every time they move their lips. Go baby.

  6. If you are a reputable recruiting company/recruiter who specializes in assisting job seekers like me find work in Project Management, please contact me. I’m seeking opportunities (contract or full-time permanent) in San Diego or San Francisco areas.

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