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Hiring Outlook for IT Workers Remains Gloomy

It looks like the IT hiring slowdown will last into the near future—and maybe beyond, according to a study by the Information Technology Association of America.

The latest study by ITAA found that the U.S. IT workforce has grown less than a percent since the start of the year, and IT hiring managers don’t see an increase in that rate anytime soon.

The ITAA survey, released in late September, found that the overall size of the IT workforce has grown by only 85,437 positions since January, from 9,895,916 to 9,981,353. Although 782,466 IT workers were hired, 697,029 lost their jobs during the same period.

“Today’s survey results are one more indication that where the overall economy may be recovering, the IT marketplace is still coping with recession,” ITAA President Harris N. Miller was quoted as saying in a press release. “Hiring managers appear to be less bullish than at the start of the year—even as many forecasters have predicted an IT industry turnaround in 2003.”

One silver lining in the dark cloud of the report is that currently employed IT workers are more likely to keep their jobs than in the recent past. According to the report, between January and December 2001, companies let go 2.6 million IT workers or more than 218,000 per month. Between July 2001 and June 2002, the monthly total dropped to 116,000. Those figures suggest that companies have stabilized their staffing levels.

Another significant finding of the study is that it’s good to be a tech support specialist. It’s the most in-demand IT worker in the current climate, with nearly a third of the 440,282 hires in the last three months in that area. Web developers also fared well, with 93,410 added to company rolls during the same period, followed by network design specialists and administrators with 47,463.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization Review.

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