IT Job Market Growth Slows

IT job market growth slows to 5,700 in February from 9,800 in January according to BLS data says Janco

Even with the unemployment rate falling to 7.7% the jobs prospect for IT Pros is still mixed…

Park City – UT – The latest BLS data shows a small increase in the number of employed IT professionals and prospects are mixed.   The CEO of Janco Associates, Victor Janulaitis said, “According to BLS there were 5,700 more IT professionals employed in February than in January.  However, much of the most recent growth has been in the government sector, and with “sequester” there could be a reduction in the number of those jobs.  On the downside, the BLS has adjusted the number of jobs that were added in January from 12,500 to 9,800.”

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IT Pros Job Market Changes
IT Pros Job Market Changes

The CEO added, “When we looked at the number of IT pros employed and compared that with our own independent survey of 106 CIOs in North America we can only conclude that the hiring freezes of 2008 through 2012 are slowly easing.  We are seeing greater demand for mid-level managers and technologist who can address demands placed on CIOs for more ‘web-enabled’ applications” and security professionals.

IT Pros Job Market
IT Pros Job Market

Janco’s says, “CIOs are focusing on the near term demands to hire proven IT Pros and Consultants/Contractors.  A number of CIOs who we have interviewed have plans in place for more robust hiring in the summer and fall…”

Janco CIO Hiring Survey Trends

The CEO said, “However, not all of the news is good.  Janco continues to be concerned that the data shows the labor market participation rate remains at record low levels. Also with “sequester” there is a possibility that the recovery will falter and job growth could slow.  The macro trend for labor participation since 2008 still is down by 1.5%. That translates to approximately 4 million people who are excluded from the labor force calculation.”  The CEO expanded with the following caveat, “The year to year comparison of workforce participation shows how deep a hole we are in.  Until those percentages turn around, the overall recovery will be weak at best. If that is the case, then there is a strong possibility that IT demand will be dampened, and overall IT job market size could fall back to the levels of 2010 and 2011.”

Three Month Moving Average IT Job Market Trends
Three Month Moving Average IT Job Market Trends
Historic US Job Participation Percentage
Historic US Job Participation Percentage

In a continuing survey of CIOs, Janco has found many CIOs are cautious but feel that overall hiring will improve in 2013.  The CEO of Janco said, “In telephone interviews in late January of 97 US based CIOs we found that many are looking to a more interesting future with sequester, tax increases, unsure economic future, and unstable world political situation. CIOs continue to closely manage their overall FTE (full time equivalent) headcounts level and adding staff for critical new developments.”   He added, “A few CIOs in selected areas like SF Bay Area and Boston are bullish.” Further he said, “CIOs are looking to add back management levels that were eliminated in the recession. In addition, CIOs are looking for particular sets of skills to meet the demands of mobile computing and towards implementation processes which will support users to use their own personal devices – BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).”

Health Care vs. Financial Services Job Growth

 

The health care job market continues to be a bright spot on the overall US labor market and is one area where IT Pros can go with the flow and find job opportunities.  The implementation of Electronic Patient Records is one of the driving forces in the increased opportunities in this area.  The chart below depicts the total labor market in this sector.

Janco is an international consulting firm that follows issues that concerns CIOs and CFOs and publishes a series of IT and business infrastructure HandiGuides® and Templates including a Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Template, Security Template and IT Salary Survey.

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Author: Victor Janulaitis

M. Victor Janulaitis is the CEO of Janco Associates. He has taught at the USC Graduate School of Business, been a guest lecturer at the UCLA’s Anderson School of Business, a Graduate School at Harvard University, and several other universities in various programs.