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10/5/2005
02:10 PM
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Tech Workers Think Jobs Outlook Is Brighter, Says Survey

IT and telecom professionals were considerably more optimistic about their jobs in September than workers in most other sectors, according to a new survey of more than 9,400 employees in several industries.

IT and telecom professionals were considerably more optimistic about their jobs in September than workers in most other sectors, according to a new report by Hudson, which conducts monthly phone interviews with more than 9,400 employees in several industries.

Compared to a base score of 100, job confidence levels among IT workers rebounded to a score of 104.8 in September, after having plummeted to 97.5 in August, which was one of the lowest monthly ratings from the 600-plus tech pros polled by Hudson since the outsourcing and staffing firm began tracking job optimism in January 2004.

However, the national index—which includes workers in all sectors, such as manufacturing, health care, accounting, and finance—continued to plunge, falling to an all-time low of 96.8 in September, down from a score of 98.2 in August.

The national index was pulled down predominately by the manufacturing sector, which always tends to be the most pessimistic, falling to a score of 76.3 last month. The sector with the most optimistic workers in September was accounting and finance, which scored 107.5. Health-care professionals posted a confidence level of 99.9.

The boost in confidence among tech professionals was fueled by improved job satisfaction and diminished worries about layoffs. Thirty-two percent of the IT workers polled expected their firms to increase hiring in coming months, and 43% expected no change in IT employment levels at their employers. Only 21% of tech workers expressed concerns about job losses, down from nearly 30% in August.

IT workers also were more satisfied with their jobs in September than in August. Eighty-two percent of the IT pros said they were happy with their current jobs in September—the highest score to date—compared to only 70% in August.

Nationally, workers continued to worry about personal finances—47% of the respondents said their financial situations were getting worse. Those worries—fueled by rising energy costs, inflation in housing prices, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina—were the key drivers for concerns about personal finances, says Brian Durow, Hudson central region VP.

IT workers seemed less impacted by those worries, he says. "IT people probably have this in perspective—their situations weren't as bad as they could've been," he says.

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