Fiscal Worries Shake IT Confidence

Worried about finances and discontent in their work, the confidence of IT workers took a dive in August.

Though bad news was slightly offset by an increase in expected hiring, the outlook for IT professionals on their job market and personal finances slipped noticeably in August, according to Hudsons Employment Index released Sept. 5.

The dive of 7.6 points to 105.1 in August came over a four-month period of sliding confidence, from a peak of 122.1 in April. Only July showed any improvement in IT outlook.

What is bringing IT workers down is money, as the number of professionals who rated their fiscal situation as "excellent" or "good" fell from 62 to 54 percent in August. The number of workers who felt that their finances were getting better dropped as well, from 48 percent in July to 43 percent the following month.

"I am perplexed to see confidence sliding when there are so many job opportunities out there. Unemployment among certain skills is really low for IT workers. When you look at the major economic indicators, such as the housing and Wall Street decline, though job opportunities are good, finances are less so. Theres a correlation with high oil prices and the housing market slump seen in this last dip," Tim Bosse, executive vice president of Hudson IT & Telecommunications, told eWEEK.

The IT confidence index also spoke of a mixed outlook for hiring expectations. The number of workers who expected their company to hire in the coming months increased four points, to 36 percent, in August. However, there was a one-point rise in the number of workers who expected their company to reduce headcount.


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Job satisfaction took also a dip in August, as only 69 percent of workers said they are happy with their job, compared with 72 percent who expressed that sentiment in July.

As economists across the country refuse to rule out the possibility of an upcoming recession, IT workers still scarred by the dot-com bust are bracing themselves for another round of bad news. However, Bosse said that technology professionals are in a much better place than they were seven years ago, and if there is a recession, they will not be as hard hit.

"If there is a recession, hiring will slow down. But the difference is that if you go back to the last economic slow-down, IT workers are much more stable than they were in the late 90s and dot-com peak," he said. "There is not as much fluidity in their work, and the projects they are working on are built around business initiatives. I believe that in 2007, IT workers and the projects they are taking part in are much more stable."

Hudsons national index, including all job categories, also took a tumble in August, falling 6.6 points. Finances were a chief concern of workers in the national group as well.


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