After sinking in February, job confidence levels among IT workers climbed in March, according to a report released Wednesday by professional staffing and outsourcing firm Hudson, a unit of Hudson Highland Group.
Since January 2004, Hudson has been monthly surveying by phone 9,000 U.S. workers, including about 420 in the IT sector, to compute its Hudson Employment Index, which measures satisfaction about job security and prospects, as well as personal finances.
In March, compared with a base score of 100, IT workers job-confidence levels rose to 111.8, up nearly 9 points from 103.0 in February, which had been one of the lowest scores among IT professionals since Hudson began its index surveys.
IT workers in March also surpassed Hudson's national index rating for workers in all sectors surveyed, which include health care, finance, accounting, and manufacturing. The national index score of 101.2 March was the lowest in 13 months, down slightly from 102.0 in February.
IT workers were more upbeat than workers in most other sectors about their personal finances, job security, and hiring prospects in March, says Vic Velevis, manager for Hudson's IT and telecommunications practice in Dallas. The low national score was attributed primarily to uneasiness about personal finances, which were likely fueled concerns about record-high oil prices and the future of Social Security.
IT workers in March seemed less discouraged by the larger economic worries mainly because they were more confident about hiring prospects, says Velevis. "IT workers tend to be more confident, maybe because they've been through so much the last few years, and things are now looking more promising [in terms of hiring]," he says.
Perhaps because of changes and job threats they've been introduced to recently, IT workers tend to be a volatile group when it comes to job confidence. Last year the sector had the most dramatic swings in job-optimism levels, even though the segment ended 2004 generally upbeat, according to Hudson's survey data for the year.
Velevis says his recruiting practice has seen an up-tick in hiring requests from employers looking for professionals with skills in Web development and security. Job-hiring requests related to data warehousing and business-intelligence tools have also turned hot over the last three to six months, he says.