Tech Sector Job Market A Fright In October - InformationWeek

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Tech Sector Job Market A Fright In October

Bad news about the mortgage industry and credit are fueling the uneasiness among IT and telecom professionals, according to HR staffing firm Hudson's latest report.

Job confidence among techies slipped a bit in October as IT and telecom professionals worried about job security and were slightly less happy at work, according to the latest monthly survey by staffing and outsourcing firm Hudson.

Still, despite the 2.9 drop in job confidence levels from September to 111.7 in October, techies overall were a comparatively upbeat group.

The October score was still 2.1 higher than it was in October 2006, when tech professionals rated their job optimism at 109.6. Also, it was hard to beat September's score of 114.6, which had been the highest rating in techie job confidence in nearly two years.

Last month, IT and telecom pros were considerably more optimistic about jobs than workers across other sectors, which nationally rated their job confidence at only 100.8 in October, which was actually up 3.7 points from a gloomy 97.1 rating in September.

Each month, Hudson phone surveys about 9,000 workers across several sectors, including more than 400 IT and telecom professionals. Monthly scores are compared with a base rating of 100 established when Hudson began doing its surveys in January 2004.

Only 74% of tech pros said they were satisfied with their jobs in October, down from 80% who felt that way in September. And while more techies in October than September expected their companies to add staff in coming months, 20% of tech pros also worried about losing their own jobs, which was up 3% from September. Hudson regional VP Paul Taylor suspects that "external" issues -- including bad news about the mortgage industry and credit -- are fueling the uneasiness among techies.

"Clients [employers] are very bullish and robust -- they expect to increase head count and increase projects" in the months to come, he said.

Also, pay rates of IT talent are up an average of 5% from this time last year, he said. Some of the hottest skill sets are seeing even bigger increases, such as project managers, whose pay increased about 8% to 9% in October, compared to the same month in 2006.

"There's a huge demand for skills, and some of it is going unfilled," he said, especially in some sectors like financial services who are seeking Web development talent, including Ajax and Java programmers, he said.

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