• United States

Eeking out IT demand

Apr 15, 20032 mins
Data Center

* A report from the ITAA shows demand for IT workers remains static

Those of you who are job searching know this firsthand, but now the numbers are in: Demand for IT workers remained static in the fourth quarter of 2002. According to a quarterly report from the Information Technology Association of America, hiring and dismissals resulted in a net gain of 97,000 IT jobs in the fourth quarter. That’s down from 147,000 jobs in the third quarter.

Overall, the U.S. IT workforce only grew 3.3% in 2002. There were 10,226,243 IT workers at the end of 2002, as compared to 9,896,000 at the beginning of 2002. And although hiring slowed in the fourth quarter, so did dismissals. For example, 168,000 workers were laid off in the fourth quarter, 211,000 in the third quarter, and approximately 350,000 in both the first and second quarters.

“Both hiring and dismissals were at their lowest in the fourth quarter, showing relatively stable workforce patterns in what is often a seasonally soft quarter for hiring activity,” ITAA President Harris Miller says. “Unlike late last year, we’re seeing less optimism from hiring managers as they anticipate their needs over the next year, most likely because of instability from the war and other economic factors.”

Conducted by Market Decisions, the ITAA survey is based on interviews conducted between January and February with 300 hiring managers. Here are some of the other findings:

* IT managers predict they will need to hire an additional 874,327 workers over the next few months, a prediction that is down from the third quarter and the beginning of 2002.

* Hiring by non-IT companies outpaced those by IT companies by 10-to-1 in the fourth quarter.

* Network administrators saw improved growth in 2002, with companies saying they hired 45,000 and dismissed less than 5.000. Meanwhile, tech support workers represented 55% of all IT hires during the fourth quarter of 2002 (147,437 hired).

* According to the Dice Tech Skills profile, an addendum to the ITAA study compiled by online recruiting company Dice, Java is the most wanted skill. Demand grew 7% to 4,171 jobs listed on Dice in 2002. Other top skills include SQL Software, C and C++, Oracle and Windows NT.

For more information about the ITAA, go to