IT Job Market is Poor at Best

IT Job Market Is Poor At Best

The information technology job market in the U.S. shrank by 6,600 jobs in September, and the number of IT jobs supposedly added in July and August was slashed, consulting firm Janco Associates reported Friday.

IT Job Market Trend Moving Average Workforce Participation Percentage

The jobs picture for IT professionals is not bright, Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis said in a statement. Complicating matters is the fact that the IT jobs numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics have proved unreliable recently, he said.

“Looking back at historical data, it seems the BLS data over-reports the number of jobs created and then adjusts downward,” Janulaitis said. “The BLS keeps on downgrading the number of (IT) jobs that are created in a given month, one or two months after the fact.”

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In data out Friday, the BLS adjusted down the number of IT jobs added in August to 3,200 from 12,400. And it cut the number of jobs added in July for the second straight month. The BLS now says 11,000 IT jobs were added in July, down from its September estimate of 13,600 and August estimate of 20,400. Janco parsed the latest BLS data to come up with the decline of 6,600 IT jobs in September.

The stock market responded positively to the news that the U.S. unemployment rate had dipped to 7.8% in September from 8.1% in August. But while the overall U.S. job market added 114,000 jobs, more than 400,000 people dropped out of the labor force, Janulaitis said. Most of the jobs added were in the public sector, he said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed to its highest level in nearly five years Friday on the jobs report, Reuters reported. The S&P 500 is also near a five-year high. The unemployment rate is its lowest since January 2009.

The latest jobs data provided fodder for the 2012 election.

“This is not what a real recovery looks like,” Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said. “We created fewer jobs in September than in August, and fewer jobs in August than in July, and we’ve lost over 600,000 manufacturing jobs since President Obama took office.”

The drop in the unemployment rate could provide a boost to the re-election hopes of President Barack Obama, Reuters said.

“This morning, we found out that the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since I took office,” Obama told a crowd of supporters at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., on Friday, Yahoo News reported. “More Americans entered the work force, more people are getting jobs.”

The jobs report was downbeat for tech, but a continuing of chief information officers by Janco finds that many company CIOs are cautiously optimistic that IT hiring will improve in 2013. “In telephone interviews in late September of 92 U.S.-based CIOs, we found that many are looking ahead to a brighter future with increased staffing in late spring and early summer,” Janulaitis said. “CIOs are keeping their current overall (full-time equivalent) head counts level but are looking to replace consultants and contractors with full-time employees.”

But CIOs were less optimistic in the recent survey than they were in the prior survey, Janulaitis told IBD. “A month and a half ago, one in five (companies) was going to be hiring. Now it’s one in 10.”

10 Things to do to Increase Your Chance of Getting a Raise

10 Things to do to Increase Your Chance of Getting a Raise

Growth of IT job market continues to slow down and many companies are reducing target raises in their new budgets

What are the ways that IT Professionals can get an increase in compensation?  The easiest way it to get promoted to a senior management position, but many technologists do not want to do that. Unfortunately, that is often the only avenue in many companies.

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But what if you enjoy the technical aspects of the job and don’t want to move away from that? Here are some things you can do to boost your salary in the position you’re already in:

  1. Stay ahead of the crowd with technology – Be aware of what is new and what is hot.  If you are the first one there with a technology or solution you will show your value.  However you want to be able to apply the technology to a business issue
  2. Get a certification  – With a certification you typically gain addition skills which have value if that is an area that your CIO is moving
  3. Use the latest technology and tools – Do not depend on  your employer for everything. When the new technology comes out get it and use it.
  4. Provide peers with insight and training on your area of expertise – Share with others your insight and knowledge.  When your manager sees you doing that it only increases your value in their eyes.
  5. Fit into the organization as a team player– Do not be a loner  join in with other IT staff members and go out after work and have a relationship that goes beyond the office
  6. Be a focal point in your area of technical expertise – Create an on-line presence. Soup up your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and social media presence with affiliations with some prestigious companies and technical organizations. Create your own blog in which you write about technical issues that you are an expert in. Contribute to on-line tech publications and blogs.
  7. Market your skills – Create a blog.  Blogs not only showcase your knowledge, but search engines like the frequent stream of fresh content.  Give speeches. You can do this in tech organizations that you belong to. Send speech topics to event organizers and maybe they’ll take you up on one.
  8. Network with IT Pros in other organizations that have the same technical responsibilities – This is also a great way to learn what is hot and what is not.  In addition this can lead to learning what others in your field are getting paid
  9.  Make users love you  – Many tech pros consider it a  good day if they don’t have to interact with anyone. But if you’re willing to  help end-users with the software (addressing problems but also training them  how to use it), you become the go-to person and your name that floats into conversations most often. Being the company expert on an application does make  you more important.
  10. Keep your ear to the ground and listen to where the CIO and company are moving – If a company is moving into unknown territory (like the Cloud and BYOD), management will want to learn everything they can. If you’ are  the person who can answer all the questions, you’ll become prominent on the radar screens, and thereby raising your professional profile.

CIO and Productivity

CIOs drive productivity

Looking ahead, managers and CIOs in particular have a focus on productivity.  That not only applies to the IT staff but to all of the users of IT services. Here are a few things to take into consideration when trying to raise the level of productivity.

  1. Create a pleasant environment both in the office and the online environment
  2. Keep your employees and users happy
  3. Assign clear service levels, responsibilities and accountabilities
  4. Review all of your employee and user requirements and see they are met
  5. Communicate with everyone in coordinated way
  6. Encourage and motivate employees and users to work as a team
  7. Set realistic targets for what is to be accomplished
  8. Have clear plans in place and follow them
  9. Focus on results versus meetings and paperwork
  10. Train everyone – often even if repeated

CIO Role Defined Read On…

Top 10 CIO Productivity and Budgeting Issues

CIO Productivity Metrics

CIO – Productivity Kit

The best companies, and their CIOs, recognize the importance of ready access to the right information to drive the right choices between different variables.

There will never be a time when IT directors can, but with the economic turmoil of today concerns are extremely  high. On the security front, internal and external threats are on the increase, especially as the enterprise boundary continues to increase with the growth of mobile and wireless based applications. Keeping the business operating in the  face of existing economic conditions, security threats, whether against the  systems themselves, or against the business and the environment in which it  operates is part of any CIO’s basic role.

The top ten concerns are:

  1. Budgets – Budgets have never been tighter. Since the dot com bubble burst  where IT budgets were pared to the bone, organizations are striving to keep a really tight control over them, even though they still need innovative IT to keep ahead of the competition. Smart CIOs are seeing savings through standardization of the IT infrastructure so new systems can be financed without increasing budgets.
  2. Staffing – People are an organization’s most valuable asset. For CIO they are not only the most valuable, they are causing the most headaches as well. Recruiting, managing and training staff are the most pressing concerns for CIOs
  3. Security – Internal and external threats are on the increase, especially as enterprises continue to increase the growth of mobile and wireless based applications.  Keeping the business operating in the face of threats, whether against the systems themselves, or against the business and the environment are a major component of CIO’s role.
  4. Compliance – Security and compliance work together for CIOs as many governance and compliance regulations were spawned from risk management and directly affect security. For many companies regulatory compliance is now part of everything they do. This has allowed the CIO to understand exactly what resources and processes an organization has and to increase efficiency and throughput as a result.
  5. Resource Management – Managing time and resources are a major concern for CIOs. Enterprise management now demands more efficient working. CIO now are now using more of their time and resources they used to spend on legacy maintenance on more produce to manage critically short supplies of resources.
  6. Infrastructure – Updating technology infrastructures and keeping the backbone of an organization’s IT up to date is another top concern for CIOs.
  7. Business Alignment – Keeping IT strategy in line with business strategy is something at which CIOs have become masters but it is still one of the areas that causes a lot of work and is resource heavy.
  8. Managing Users – CIOs must prioritize the needs of their users and customers. Dealing with users while improving the quality of service for users is a constant for all IT departments.   More CIOs are putting metrics in place to see just how well they are doing. Excellent customer service and cost effectiveness in driving the business forward are the two overlying themes for many businesses. The aim is to lift the bar on customer service, on cost effectiveness and on the capabilities of service offerings and people.
  9. Managing Change – The fast moving pace of technological innovation means change is a guaranteed part of the CIO’s role. But the way they manage its effect on the business is more critical. Arguably, the most significant management issue that CIOs have to face this year is change management – business process change, changes in organizational cultures and how they affect people are very high on the CIO’s agenda.
  10. Organizational Politics – To manage change and integration effectively, CIOs need the support of their senior management team. The success of change management programs and the contribution IT can make to those depend heavily on the support and drive of senior managers. If the CIO lines of report – CEO, CFO or COO -understand the power of transformational IT investment and if a CIO can educate and communicate what is possible, IT should be a key enabler for business and process change. Many companies are going through massive change and integration programs, all of which need board support to succeed.

CIO Productivity

Top 10 States with the Highest Unemployment Rates

10 States Have Unemployment Rates over 9%

In the latest release of state unemployment rates there are 10 states which stand out because of their high levels. Included are states with large populations. This does not bode well since the number of jobs that need to be created in this states is very high. Included in this mix of states is California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and Michigan.

States With High Unemployment

These states are offset somewhat by 11 other states that have levels lower than 6%. That is not to say that 6% is an acceptable unemployment level, however if it were there for the rest of the nation we would be out of the recession

States With Low Unemployment

In this environment hiring can be a challenge. Background checking and work history references are difficult at best. The job interview remains key to assessing the candidate’s fit. The job interview remains the tool you can use to get to know your candidate on a more personal basis. The job interview process helps other employees “own” the new employee who joins your organization.

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Employee Tenure – Telecommunications workforce is aging

Employee Tenure – Telecommunications workforce is aging

The latest analysis of BLS data by Janco Associates and shows that employees in telecommunications are an aging population.

Employee Average Tenure
Telecommunications Workforce is aging and there are too few younger employees with sufficient experience to fill the required leadership positions.

As companies cut back the first thing they typically do is eliminate newer less experienced employees, then they cut back the middle layers of experience, and retain only the employees with the longest seniority and experience set.  This is exactly what has happened in the telecommunications market for IT Pros.

During the recession companies have continued to reduce the size of the workforce in telecommunication roles.  This has resulted in fewer employees and those in those roles are older.  In the long run this will be an issue as the economy turns around there will be too few “younger” employees who can take over the reigns as telecommunication demands increase.


Top 20 CIOs paid over $2 million in 2011

Top Paid CIOs

The top compensation for highest paid CIO is now $8.6 million and that is for Steve Sqaueri the CIO of American Express. From public filings at the SEC we have found that there at least 19 other CIOs who’s compensation exceeds $2 million.

CIO Compensation

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IT Job Growth Slows, Though CIOs Anticipate Hiring Next Year

IT Job Growth Slows, Though CIOs Anticipate Hiring Next Year

Both the New York Times and Janco Associates have say that the job market is poor.

IT Job Market Trend Moving Average Workforce Participation Percentage

The workforce participation rate is the lowest that it has been since 1980.  If you look at real unemployment number the real unemployment level is close to 18%.

IT Employment Up In a Soft Job Market

Between the first to second quarter of this year, the unemployment rate of computer hardware engineers went from 4.4% to 0.5%. For software developers, the unemployment rate shrank from 3.6% to 2.5% over the same period.

IT Employment Picture

However, for computer support specialists, the unemployment rate over the two quarters rose from 7.1% to 8.2%.

The entire job market in the US did increased by 96,000 jobs in August, but troubling was the fall in the labor market participation rate which fell another .2% to 63.5% with 368,000 dropping out of the labor force. Victor Janulaitis. The CEO of Janco Associates said, “The year to year comparison of workforce participation shows how deep a hole we are in. Until those percentages turn around there will be little hope for a strong recovery.”

IT Job Market Trend Moving Average Workforce Participation Percentage

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IT Job Market Growth Slows in August

IT Pros face a mixed job market with a net gain of only 12,400 IT jobs in August – versus the 13,600 jobs added in July and 9,600 in June. This shows a slight positive trend – 96 CIOs interviewed feel that hiring will increase significantly six to nine months from now

The market for IT Professionals continues to show a slight improvement in hiring.  There was a net increase of 12,400 seasonally adjusted IT jobs in August according to the latest BLS data. There was an improvement in computer system design and related services accounted of 14,700 jobs and another 3,100 jobs in other information services which was offset by a loss of 4,700 jobs in telecommunications and 700 jobs in Data Processing, hosting and related services.

The entire job market in the US did increased by 96,000 jobs in August, but troubling was the fall in the labor market participation rate which fell another .2% to 63.5% with 368,000 dropping out of the labor force. Victor Janulaitis. The CEO of Janco Associates said, “The year to year comparison of workforce participation shows how deep a hole we are in.  Until those percentages turn around there will be little hope for a strong recovery.”

IT Job Market Trend Moving Average Workforce Participation Percentage

IT Hiring Picture Improves

IT Hiring Picture Improves

One in five chief information officers, based on Janco ‘s interviews with U.S.-based chief information officers, anticipate hiring lower-level staff for short-term needs, with almost 25% of them doing so in the next three months as temporary positions, Janco says. Overall, firms are trying to keep their I.T. head counts level when considering both contractors and employees.

In the short term CIOs and IT Managers are reducing the use of contractors and are looking to replace them with lower cost employees. Almost all of the top level IT pros feel that things are looking better for 6 to 12 months down the road.

Read on….

Top 10 Things a CIO Needs to Add Value

Top 10 for CIOs -What does the CIO have to do to be viewed as a business person versus a technologist?  There are many strategies that CIOs have followed that work. We have found some sure fired ways to have the CIO be a driver in the alignment of strategic business objectives with IT initiatives.  They are really the same today as they were back in the early days of computing.

  1. Look and be an executive – That not only includes speaking in business terms but all dressing and looking like the other executives. The key is to ensure the IT results are business focused and that both the CIO presents the big picture in terms of company strategy and ensuring IT and strategic business direction are aligned to it.  It is much easier to do when the CIO looks and talks the part.
  2. Have an opinion and present it – Do not go with what you think everyone wants.  Be brave and present ideas that will help the business to expand and grow.  If the CIO does not have an opinion what value are they in the executive suite?
  3. Check the ego at the door – No one wants to hear how great the CIO is.  It is much better if the other executives voice that and the CIO is humble in accepting praise.
  4. Get out of the detail – The CIO has a staff and they are the ones who do the programming and analysis.  CIOs need to focus on the big picture.
  5. Manage by mingling outside of IT – Get out of the “ivory tower” of IT.  Meet with other executives and operational staff frequently.  Invest at least 50% of the day to deal with business issues and become a key member of the executive management team and sounding board for where the organization is going.
  6. Stay within dollar and time budgets – CIO that are successful are the ones whose organizations deliver what they say, when they say it, and within budget.  That adds to creditability and makes it easier the next time around.
  7. Present a positive can do attitude – Focus on what can be done within what time frame. CIOs who say why something cannot happen often pushed aside by those how say what can be done.  It is better to implement part of a concept than say why the grand solution cannot be implemented.
  8. Management at the executive level s about selling and implementing ideas – It is not enough to present an idea, rather the CIO has to become a champion of an idea and transfer that role to the other executives in the organization.
  9. Take ownership – Not only when something succeeds, but also when it fails accept the results.  CIOs that come up with excuses and blame others do not last long in the executive suite.
  10. Innovation leads to success – CIOs who embrace new approaches gain a lot of creditability.  CIOs that hinder the use of new technologies are viewed as obstructionist and are bypassed in key decisions because they are viewed as some that the not accept change.

Top 10 Leads to Adding Value


IT Job Opportunities – 44.1% of long term employees can not find new jobs or have left the labor market

IT Job Opportunities

IT job opportunities – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported from January 2009 through December 2011, 6.1  million workers were displaced from jobs they had held for at  least 3 years. The data shows that 26.7 of those individuals remain unemployed and another 17.4% have left the labor pool all together. That adds up tp 44.1 % of these long term employees continuing to be out of work and does not include any factor for those who are underemployed. IT job opportunities for long term unemployed remain poor.

This was less than the  6.9 million for the survey period covering January 2007 to December 2009. In January 2012, 56 percent of workers displaced from 2009-11 were  reemployed.

Janco talked with a dozen IT Professionals who had been employed in IT for over 3 years with the companies and had been terminated.  One of the common refrains was, after being out of the IT job market for several months many of these professionals felt that their skills has decayed and that that employers did not view them in a positive light because of the lenght of time they had been out of work.  Some of these individuals were able to find “part-time” and “contractor” however they found the job market remains tight for them. Others have left the IT Market all together and had started alternate careers.

Long Term Employees Employment

IT job opportunities   

Unemployment is over 9% in 8 states not a good sign for IT Pros

As people continue to forecast an improvement in the economy, the latest BLS data shows there still are 8 states with unemployment number that are higher than 9%.

In the long run that is not good news for IT pros.  First, companies in those regions do not have good prospects so they typically will not hire or invest in new systems. Second, those who have jobs in high unemployment areas are less likely to move to new companies because of uncertainty about the economy reducing the number of opening created by voluntary moves.

The states with the highest unemployment numbers are:

  • Nevada – 12.0%
  • Rhode Island – 10.8%
  • California – 10.7%
  • New Jersey – 9.8%
  • North Carolina – 9.6%
  • South Carolina  – 9.6%
  • Georgia – 9.3%
  • New York – 9.1%

Add to that the influx of undocumented worker in California, Nevada, New York and New Jersey the employment picture looks like anything but positive. When will this turn around?  If you listen to many economists, there is a new trend that they say is happening and this may be the norm for the next several years.

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IT Hiring


IT Job Market Improves

IT job market increases significantly with 20,400 jobs added in July

One in five organizations is looking to hire additional IT staff within the next month – IT is not expected to regain all of the jobs lost during the 2007-09 recession until 2013

There was a net increase of 20,400 seasonally adjusted IT jobs in July  according to the latest BLS data. There was an improvement in computer system  design and related services accounted of 10,400 jobs; 7,000 in telecommunications, 1,900 jobs in Data Processing,  hosting and related services; and another 1,100 jobs in other information  services.

The IT job market growth trend for IT Professionals is down, See chart below.

              Hiring Trend Moving Average

At the same time Janco’s CIO Hiring plans look upbeat with CIO looking to replace consultants and contractors with full time employees. There is general consensus that they will be hiring next year at this time.

IT Hiring Trend

The number of new jobs created continues to be lower than the number of jobs needed   for the  US economy to stay even with adult population growth. The Labor Department has reported the economy added added 163,000 in July up from  80,000 in June ( 69,000 in May) . Unemployment is highest in Nevada  and California.     

IT Job Market Employment Trends

For the first time in several months there were gains in the total number of jobs in all sectors of the IT job market. There was a net increase of 20,400 seasonally adjusted IT jobs in June  according to the latest BLS data. There was an improvement in computer system  design and related services accounted of 10,400 jobs; 7,000 in telecommunications, 1,900 jobs in Data Processing,  hosting and related services; and another 1,100 jobs in other information  services.

IT job market improves - hiring up

IT job market improves - hiring up          

Health Care vs. Financial Services Job Growth

Heath Care Job Growth

Employment is on the rise in Healthcare IT and spending will reach $40 billion by the end of this year. Much of that growth will come from spending on electronic health record (EHR) systems, mobile health applications and efforts to comply with new government standards. Boosted by increased spending on healthcare software — which is needed for the rollout of EHR systems — the U.S. healthcare IT market is expected to grow at a rate of about 24% per year from 2012 to 2014, the study said. Spending on healthcare software rose 20.5% in the past year, from $6.8 billion in 2010 to a projected $8.2 billion this year. Recent mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare IT market also point to growing private-sector interest in software, which will see sales grow at rate of more than 30% annually from 2012 to 2014.

Industries and occupations related to health care, personal care and social assistance, and construction are projected to have the fastest job growth from now until 2020. Total employment is projected to grow by 14.3 percent over the decade, resulting in 20.5 million new jobs. Despite rapid projected growth, construction is not expected to regain all of the jobs lost during the 2009-12 recession. The bad news is that the number of individuals dropping out of the job market continues to increase and the Labor Participation Percentage continues to fall.

Labor Participation Pct