Though their numbers for IT employment in January vary widely, two analyst firms are bullish on the rising IT job market.
Foote Partners’ analysis of the January report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released Friday, finds a net gain of 22,100 jobs in four industry job segments commonly associated with IT professionals — the largest monthly increase in IT employment in five years. From October to December 2012, IT employment gained an average of 9,700 positions. It says 132,300 IT jobs have been added in the past 12 months.
Janco Associates, meanwhile, which generally provides a more conservative view of the IT job market, touts 73,500 new jobs added in January in five industry segments.
There’s more going on than just a new budget year, according to David Foote, chief analyst at Foote Partners:
“Right now our firm is getting more calls than ever from CIOs and IT leaders who have been essentially ‘clean sheeting’ their IT organizations. They can’t just scrap what they have and start over. But what they are doing is substantially refocusing their strategic targets and redefining what is core versus noncore as far as their investments in technology and people.
“They have always have done this to some degree, but many IT executives simply didn’t have the courage to pull the trigger and actually fully operationalize their transformation ideas. Now they are doing so and being very aggressive about bringing change to their environments. The pressure is coming from senior executive management that is sending messages something on the order of ‘You will do this for the company or we will look for someone else who can get it done’.”
That translates to strength and momentum in the IT employment marketplace, which Foote expects will continue.
Victor Janulaitis, CEO of Janco Associates, meanwhile, called the hiring momentum, “robust enough to be called a boom.”
“When we looked at the number of IT pros employed and compared that with our own independent survey of 106 CIOs in North America, we can only conclude that the hiring freezes of 2008 through 2012 have been lifted. We are seeing greater demand for mid-level managers and technologist who can address demands placed on CIOs for more ‘web-enabled’ applications.”
He says CIOs are cautious about the economy and carefully managing headcount, but adding staff for critical new developments.
“A few CIOs in selected areas like SF Bay Area and Boston are bullish. … CIOs are looking to add back management levels that were eliminated in the recession. In addition, CIOs are looking for particular sets of skills to meet the demands of mobile computing and towards implementation of processes that will support users to use their own personal devices.”
CIOs are focusing on the near-term demands to hire proven managers and get plans in place for more robust hiring in the summer and fall, Janulaitis says.