No Hiring Slowdown
Dice has seen no sign yet that there will be a significant softening of demand for high-tech jobs in the second half of 2004, Melland said. Monster.com, another online job recruiter with a focus on the IT industry, echoes this view. The employment slowdown reported in July isnt necessarily an indication that the nations economy is going to slow down in the second half, said Marcel Legrand, senior vice president at Monster.com. Monster.coms customers "are pretty bullish about the rest of this year," Legrand said. The number of postings the site is getting isnt slowing down, he said, suggesting that the slowdown may just be a seasonal blip in hiring.People have to remember that the 3 percent unemployment rate reported in the late 90s was an aberration, Legrand said. For the past three years, unemployment nationally has ranged between 6.5 percent and 5.5 percent, he said, adding that an unemployment rate of 5 percent is historically a great number. People shouldnt expect that unemployment is going to fall to the rates seen before 2000, he said. Monster disagreed with Dice in terms of what is happening in the financial services industry. IT administrative jobs in the financial services sector have decreased in recent months, Legrand said. In particular, the mortgage banking industry has shed about 1,600 IT jobs in the past six months, as even a slight increase in interest rates has reduced the massive wave of mortgage refinancing that prevailed over the past two years. But Monster has also found that IT professionals are making a recovery from the losses of the bubble years. For example, people who lost jobs in the telecommunications industry recession have found they can bring their skills to the health care industry. In additional, technology management positions, such as WAN (wide area network) management or software engineering management, have grown faster than any other position, Legrand said. Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at http://enterpriseapps.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.
"Everybody is on holiday. July and August are just not a good time to be thinking about business and employment trends," Legrand suggested.