IT Job Growth Slows To Lowest Rate Since 2011

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Even though IT jobs continue to grow, they aren't growing nearly as fast as they used to be, a report Monday said.

Using the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT industry trade association TechServe Alliance' report found that while IT jobs grew for the 26th consecutive month, the market only grew by 0.04 percent in October, much less than in previous months. The market, the report said, grew by 0.08 percent in September and by greater than 0.1 percent every month prior through 2012.

For comparison, total non-farm jobs grew by 0.1 percent over the same month.

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The report attributed the cause of the decline to the government shutdown and the general market uncertainty related to it.

The biggest growth over the past month was a 0.6 percent growth in the management and technical consulting services, followed by a 0.3 percent growth in professional and technical services. Computer systems and design services also saw a boost of 0.2 percent over the past month.

Other areas, however, took a hit. Computer and electronic product manufacturing saw a 0.3 percent decline. Both the data processing, hosting and related services sector and the federal, state and local government sector saw declines of 0.1 percent over the past month.

However, despite the slow of growth in some areas, Tom Haskard, communications coordinator for TechServe Alliance, said that it wasn't the end of the line for IT.

"I think we're pretty happy with it," Haskard told CRN.

According to Ernst & Young's "Technology - Capital Confidence Barometer" survey, announced Monday, 57 percent of technology company respondents said they expected to create jobs, up from 41 percent the year before. The reason for the job creation, the survey said, is a strong belief that the economy is improving as a whole, with 68 percent saying they believed the economy was on the rise.

"I think that's absolutely something were seeing," Nand Mulchandani, CEO and co-founder of cloud management solution provider ScaleXtreme, Inc.

However, Mulchandani said he sees the decrease in the job growth rate as a result of the increasing efficiency of technology in the marketplace. As more companies virtualize, it is dramatically changing the way solution providers run their shops, Mulchandani said. Virtualization, in particular, is limiting the number of staff because fewer employees are needed to physically set up systems. Mulchandani said the shift in technology is not necessarily allowing companies to fire employees, but he sees it slowing down hiring as companies simply don't need more people on staff to handle increased workloads.

"What that's done now is dramatically decrease the level of competency, and also ... the level of expertise and skill sets that are needed to actually do this," Mulchandani told CRN. "These tools are causing the reduction in the number of people who are needed to do this. That's the game we're seeing in a big way."

Mulchandani said he expects growth, at a decreased rate, to continue going forward as technology continues to improve.

"No question that this is a long arc as to where things are going," Mulchandani said.


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