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12/1/2004
05:58 PM
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IT Job Confidence Plunges In November

Hudson, which bases its report on telephone interviews with IT professionals, cites seasonal, end-of-year factors as the probable cause.

Job confidence among IT workers took a steep plunge in November after hitting a record high for the year in October, according to a report released Wednesday. Since the beginning of the year, a staffing and consulting unit of Hudson Highland Group has conducted phone interviews with about 9,000 workers and managers in various industries, including some IT professionals. Hudson's survey aims to gauge worker confidence about job security and satisfaction, new employment prospects, and personal finances.

Compared to a base score of 100, IT worker optimism ratings in November dropped to 109.4, falling 11.4 points from the year's high score of 120.8 in October. Although the November score wasn't the lowest for the year (reached in May at 101.2), the drop was the steepest month-to-month decline.

Hudson attributes professionals' November uneasiness to seasonal, end-of-calendar-year factors, including the tendency for companies to delay their hiring plans until after the new year and anticipated increased personal holiday spending, a spokeswoman says. She says the results of November's presidential, state, and local elections were not a likely factor in the survey results.

After May's low point, IT worker confidence had been climbing through the summer, dipping slightly in September and then rising steeply in October.

Apparently, IT workers aren't alone in their doldrums: Confidence levels among employees across all sectors surveyed, including health care, aerospace, and financial services, fell 3.6 points to 104.9 in November from 108.5 in October.

The percentage of IT workers predicting layoffs at their companies increased to 27% in November from 19% in October, while positive hiring expectations among IT workers fell to 33% in November from 40% in October. Slightly more IT workers expressed concern over losing their jobs, rising to 26% in November from 23% in October.

The percentage of IT workers claiming to be happy in their jobs also declined slightly, to 69% in November from 72% in October. The number of IT workers who rated their personal finances as excellent or good also fell slightly last month.

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