The market for IT jobs in Manhattan and Westchester County, N.Y., is showing signs of improvement, according to the latest Pace University SkillProof IT Index report. The PSII registered 114 in Manhattan for the first quarter of 2012, more than 7 percent higher than 106 registered in the fourth quarter of 2011 and better than 2 percent from a year ago. It registered 186 in Westchester, more than 18 percent above 158 in the fourth quarter of 2011 and nearly 1 percent higher than the index of 185 a year ago.
Data on the national labor market is up, as is the labor market data in Manhattan and Westchester, while the national unemployment rate is down to 8.2 percent, the researchers noted. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people who were employed marginally or part time dropped by over 10 percent in the last three months. This phenomenon is significant for IT professionals because of their various employment options, including part-time and private consulting opportunities.
In Manhattan, of the 11 categories of IT professionals tracked by PSII, six increased, three significantly and three moderately. The additional five categories remained flat on a quarterly basis, but four declined sharply relative to a year ago. Demand for computer scientists in research was up 79 percent, reversing its annual negative trend.
The presumed jobless economic recovery in the U.S. is finally reversing itself as the labor market picks up steam, according to the researchers led by Farrokh Hormozi, an economist and chair of the public administration department at Paces Dyson College of Arts and Sciences. Although the March report on job creation was disappointing, the number of jobs exceeded the economists benchmark of 240,000.
Demand for computer support specialists and database administrators continued to increase, growing by more than 30 percent on a quarterly basis and rising by more than 50 percent annually. The market for software engineers, systems and computer systems analysts remained flat on a quarterly basis, while network systems and data communications analysts saw a significant increase of more than 50 percent from a year ago.
As the economy starts to grow, IT hiring in support roles should increase, said Jean Hill, chief technology officer at First New York Securities, writing in a sidebar of the report. Almost every working professional uses technology in some form to perform their duties. Accordingly, technology and good technical support are no longer luxuries but rather necessities. Firms are investing in IT but in very different ways than in the past. As we come out of the recession, telecommuting and virtual offices are replacing the traditional office/cubicle environment. Technologists who understand their industry and the changing business environment and can translate that information into actionable technology plans will be in great demand.
The PSII is a composite index produced by Pace using data from SkillProof Inc. that provides a snapshot of IT job openings at major firms in separate reports for Manhattan and Westchester County. The 11 standard IT job categories are those defined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.