Demand for information technology workers continues to be weak, according to a
survey by the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA).
The telephone survey of 400 hiring managers from IT and non-IT companies nationwide
found that predicted demand for hiring IT workers has reached a low of 493,000 positions over the next 12 months - down from 1.6 million at the start
of 2000 - and less than one-half of the predicted 1.1 million positions needed
at the start of 2002. Sixty-seven percent of those interviewed said they thought
hiring demand would stay the same or decline over the next twelve months.
Companies are also moving more positions overseas, with 12 percent of IT companies
and 3 percent of non-IT companies saying they have already opened up overseas
operations, according to the survey. Large IT companies were most likely to
say they've made this move - 22 percent have already moved work offshore. Additionally,
15 percent of IT firms say they will, or are undecided about, moving jobs overseas
in the next twelve months, while 4 percent of non-IT firms say the same.
Sixty-seven percent of respondents already outsourcing IT work overseas say
that jobs most likely to be moved offshore are programming or software engineering
positions, followed by 37 percent moving network design, and 30 percent moving
web development jobs.
The survey placed the size of the U.S. IT workforce at 10.3 million, with hiring
and terminations amounting to less-than-one-percent growth during first quarter
of 2003, with the IT workforce growing by 86,000, which is below fourth quarter
2002 growth, which added 97,000 jobs, the slowest quarterly growth in 2002.
"If the demand for IT workers is an indicator of business growth, our
survey results are not encouraging," says ITAA President Harris N. Miller.
"The fact that firms have dramatically scaled back force reductions may
indicate that they are properly staffed to handle existing and new business.
There are several bright points, such as companies adding technical support
workers at the highest levels and the fact that most workers are not seeing