IT hiring rises where it counts

Companies that use technology are bullish about the economy and, as a result, are hiring more IT staffers

Hiring at companies that are mostly users of technology, not vendors, is on the rise, according to research firm Computer Economics.

In a survey of 200 midsize-to-large U.S. and Canadian employers, 52% of the respondents said that they are hiring full-time IT staffers this year. Meanwhile, 17% said they are cutting staff and 31% reported no change in staffing levels.

This is the first time in many years that more than half of the companies surveyed by the research organization have indicated plans to add personnel.

Last year, 44% of the companies surveyed said they were adding staff. In 2012, that figure was 40%, and it was just 33% in 2011.

The upward trend in hiring "signifies that companies feel confident enough about the future that they are willing to bring on IT employees," John Longwell, vice president of research Computer Economics, said in an interview.

The research firm surveys companies in healthcare, retail, banking and other vertical industries. While it may include some tech companies in the survey, it does not survey big IT vendors, such as Hewlett-Packard, which has been laying off workers.

The findings by Computer Economics get some backing in the most recent U.S. employment reports.

In May, the U.S. added 217,000 new jobs, and 15,600 of those were IT jobs, according to an analysis by Foote Partners, an IT workforce research firm in Vero Beach, Fla. That continues a trend. In February, March and April, a total of 38,100 new IT jobs were added in the U.S.

"The good news is that lately we've noticed more IT hiring across many industries, not just the IT services firms," Foote Partners chief analyst David Foote said in a report.

This turnabout in hiring follows a slowdown late last year.

"I think employers are becoming more confident about the role of technology and the people who design, build and manage tech-enabled business solutions," said Foote.

Patrick Thibodeau covers cloud computing and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at  @DCgov, or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His email address is pthibodeau@computerworld.com.

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