IT staffing firms and employment researchers released a flurry of data as the first half of the year came to a close. The bottom line? The second half of 2014 is looking good for job-hunting IT pros, particularly if they possess coveted skills. IT employment numbers are rising, employers are forging ahead with hiring plans, and CIOs are confident about hiring budgets. Here come the numbers.
IT employment: Steady growth
IT employment continues to climb, says TechServe Alliance, a collaboration of IT and engineering businesses. On year-over-year basis, IT employment has grown by 3.2 percent since June 2013, adding 144,200 IT workers, the alliance reports. "IT employment has been on an upward trajectory for some time," said Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance, in a statement. "Given the low unemployment rate in many IT and engineering occupations, we are in the phase of labor market cycle where future growth is more likely to be constrained by an inadequate supply of talent rather than by demand."
Hiring plans: Positive
Asked about hiring plans for the next six months, 14 percent of CIOs said they plan expand their teams in the last half of 2014, according to Robert Half Technology (RHT). (When RHT asked the same question at the start of 2014, 16 percent were planning to add more staff to their departments.) Another 76 percent expect to hire only for open IT roles, compared to 67 percent in the first six months of the year. Meanwhile, the number of CIOs who plan to put a hold on hiring is declining -- 8 percent, compared to 15 percent in the previous survey. Just 1 percent expect to reduce their IT staffing levels (compared to 2 percent at the start of 2014). RHT polled 2,400 CIOs from 24 U.S. markets for its six-month hiring outlook.
Less bullish is TEKsystems, which says hiring expectations for full-time employees have slowed since the start of the year. Heading into 2014, 47 percent of IT leaders told TEKsystems they planned increases in full-time hiring. By the end of June 2014, that number had fallen to 31 percent. Midway through the year, 56 percent expect full-time hiring to stay the same as in 2013 (up from 44 percent at the start of the year), and 13 percent expect full-time hiring to decrease (up from 9 percent).