IT hiring continues to show gains
But some industry groups say that questions remain about the overall strength of hiring
Computerworld - CIOs plan increased hiring in the second quarter, though not at the pace of the first quarter, according to the results of a new survey.
Robert Half Technology, a national recruiting firm that conducts quarterly surveys of CIOs, on Wednesday reported that 8% of the 1,400 CIOs it interviewed by telephone this quarter said that they plan to expand their IT departments in the second quarter, while 5% said that they expect cutbacks.
This leaves a net hiring gain of 3%, which John Reed, executive director of the IT recruiting firm, said is in the normal hiring range, though a decrease from the first quarter's net gain in hiring of 10%. Reed attributed the strong first-quarter figure to new budgets and projects.
IT hiring overall has been gaining, according to two different reports based on U.S. Department of Labor hiring data.
TechServe Alliance, an industry group that analyzes government data, reported that IT employment reached 4.08 million last month, passing the previous all-time high in 2008. IT employers had shed some 250,000 jobs during the recession.
TechServe put the number of IT jobs added in January at 13,300.
Overall, IT employment grew 3.4% in 2011 and 1.5% in 2010, the group reported.
Not everyone agrees the hiring trends are this robust.
The U.S. labor data can be parsed many ways, and analysts make different decisions about what categories to include or not include in the category of IT.
For example, Foote Partners counted 3,100 new IT jobs in January for those job categories it believes are typically associated with IT hiring. Working against IT hiring are budget cuts at the state, local and federal levels, Foote reported.
The Labor Department's report on last month's hiring is due to be released on Friday.
If the economy doesn't backtrack, Reed said he expects to see future gains in Robert Half Technology's hiring index similar to the forecast pace of hiring in the second quarter.
The improvements are not dramatic, but "there are more IT workers going to work, and it's growing every quarter," said Reed.
According to Reed, 85% of CIOs surveyed by Robert Half Technology said that they plan to maintain current staffing levels, which means that if an IT employee quits the employer will likely fill that position.
The improvement in IT hiring is positive sign, but there are questions about the overall health of the workforce.
The number of science and engineering jobs, which include some IT positions, has been increasing but not at a rate that's much different from the overall workforce, according to a study by the Population Reference Bureau.
Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about IT Careers in Computerworld's IT Careers Topic Center.
- SANS: Next-Generation Datacenters = Next-Generation Security This whitepaper takes a look at some new technology that may allow security teams to implement more flexible and capable protection models in...
- SANS: Protecting Virtual Endpoints with McAfee Server Security Suite Essentials SANS review of McAfees Server Security Suite Essentials that address some of the emerging challenges of securing virtual platforms and cloud environments.
- Safeguarding the Next-Generation Data Center Use of virtual and cloud servers has exploded. Unfortunately, security often lags behind. McAfee recommends looking at innovative solutions in order to erect...
- Aberdeen: Securing the Evolving Datacenter This report highlights ways security technologies and services are evolving to provide the visibility and control needed to deploy workloads flexibly in the...
- Is SQL Server AlwaysOn really as powerful? Tips and Tricks from the field With the introduction of AlwaysOn, Windows Clustering Services is now more critical than ever.
- What Does it Take to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience? The Two Top-Rated Online Retailers, B&H Photo and Crutchfield Electronics, Share Their Secrets Discuss practical CX tools and service methods such as contact center agents and the use of realtime speech analytics to help contact center... All IT Careers White Papers | Webcasts
Our 28th annual survey results show which IT skills are in high demand and which are cooling off. Also, see how your salary stacks up to peers' with our Smart Salary Tool.