The Labor Department issued a report Friday showing job growth continues to disappoint, though we know the tech employment market is much better than that of the economy overall. There was little new in the numbers: declines in jobs in computer and electronics manufacturing and telecommunications, growth in professional and business services. The overall unemployment rate fell to 9 percent, from 9.1 percent last month.
The latest Dice report, meanwhile, reports that tech recruiting isn't as frenetic as it was earlier in the year. In fact, the Dice job count has plateaued for five months. (Full disclosure: I blog for Dice, too.)
In July, analyst firms Gartner and IDC boosted their IT spending projections for the second half of the year, though Gartner expects slower growth in enterprise IT spending in 2012. In August I wrote about fears that pessimism about the economy could feed off itself and eventually hit IT. So I asked Alice Hill, managing director of Dice, what to make of this plateau. She responded by email:
Resumes viewed on Dice are at an all-time high and the unemployment rate of 4.6 percent for tech professionals [according to Friday's Labor numbers] is below the national average. Recruiters and hiring managers remain active, but at a slightly slower pace. Overall tech is the place to be and we expect technology to be a priority when companies compile next year's initiatives.
It makes sense that the projects, with associated hiring, begun earlier in the budget year are well under way, with new ones awaiting approval for the new year.
Meanwhile, layoffs in tech during October were basically flat, according to global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, though Motorola Mobility announced 800 job cuts at the end of October and AMD just announced it's eliminating 1,400 positions. (Network World has a rundown of the year's biggest blood baths.)
Dice reports the most-sought-out resumes by hiring managers in the third quarter were:
At the same time, IT job seekers were most commonly looking for positions as:
Hill concludes in the Dice report:
Only time will tell if the near-term elevated uncertainty evaporates into the new year.