IT Workplace Economy

Longest consecutive employment growth in years

During recent presidential debates, various governmental leaders have shared their opinions on several taxing issues that are currently influencing the lives of millions of Americans. However, one particular topic — job creation — has been discussed more than any other issue.

Of course, with the national unemployment rate hovering above nine percent throughout most of 2011, this comes as little surprise. But, with next year's Election Day quickly approaching, have employment figures improved much lately? And, are there any telling signs that job creation will occur well into 2012?

According to the BLS's "The Employment Situation — November 2011," released on December 2nd, 120,000 new positions were added to the national economy in November. As a result, the economy generated at least 100,000 new jobs for the fifth consecutive month; such job growth has not been noticed since April 2006, months before the recession even began.

Of equal importance, the national unemployment rate fell below nine percent for the first time since March. At 8.6 percent, the unemployment rate was lower in November than it had been in more than two-and-a-half years.

Furthermore, 13.3 million Americans were unemployed in November, about 594,000 less than in October. Also, the total number of employees who lost their full-time or part-time positions, as well as temporary workers whose assignments finally ended, decreased by 432,000 during the month, in comparison to October's findings.

Additionally, employment increased within a wide range of industries in November, especially in retail trade and leisure and hospitality.

The following employment figures were recognized in the BLS's report —

  • Leisure and hospitality: The industry created 22,000 new positions during the month, most likely as a result
of increased holiday spending.
  • Manufacturing: For the fifth successive month, employment primarily remained unchanged within the industry; however, on a positive note, fabricated metal products manufacturers hired roughly 8,000 new employees in November.
  • Professional and business services: Once again, monthly employment figures increased in the industry. In November, more than 33,000 workers were hired, as temporary help services, among other industries, continued to create new positions.
  • Retail trade: In anticipation of Black Friday holiday shopping sprees, employment rose by 50,000 within the industry. Clothing and clothing accessories stores (27,000 jobs) and electronics and appliances stores (5,000 jobs) conducted a majority of the hiring.

Other articles of interest

Study: it's future lies with cloud computing, security and mobile

Cio, November 3, 2011

Amongst the decrease in the unemployment rate, cloud computing, security and the mobile space hold the most growth potential in the coming years, according to IT professionals surveyed by Modis.

While no single technology dominated that portion of the study, which polled 502 tech workers on issues related to their jobs and the IT industry, those areas took the top three spots. Cloud computing earned 29 percent of the vote, security tallied 21 percent and mobile scored 18 percent.

The technologies are linked, said Jack Cullen, president of Modis. As companies turn to cloud computing to deliver services over mobile devices, securing data is paramount, he said.

"Security has got to be one of the first things you think about even before talking about mobile applications or strategy," he said. Firms first need to ask how they plan on securing their information in a cloud computing environment.

The study also looked into how likely workers are to switch jobs, with 64 percent of respondents expressing that they are content in their current positions and not looking to leave.

A quarter of respondents would switch jobs if they were offered the right position, the results found.

This uncertainty extends to 2012's employment predictions, which are tied to the financial market's performance, Cullen said. The survey found that 65 percent of respondents predicted that team headcount would stay the same next year. Some IT professionals do foresee staff level increases, with 11 percent calling for significant hiring and 17 percent calling for marginal additions.

Tech firms walk line on pay, earnings

Forbes, December 5, 2011

Technology recruiters have seen a resurgence in demand for their services and clients as mobile applications, software development, design and infrastructure jobs have taken off.

While overall tech salaries for 2011 are not out yet, the trend from 2006-2010 showed
a dramatic increase. Overall salaries rose approximately 14%, and Silicon Valley salaries rose 16% during this time frame, according to data from Alice Hill, managing director at Dice.com, a technology job-search Web site. Considering the strains on supply, salaries are only likely to go higher in 2011 and 2012.

Anything mobile related is very much in demand, "particularly in e-commerce," said Diana Dyeovich, a technical recruiter. Developers have seen an increase in demand for their services, and as such, as increase in pay.

With people increasingly using their smart- phones and tablets on a daily basis for their data consumption, salaries can be expected to rise.

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