IT Workplace Economy

Another Month of Similar Job Numbers

Once again, economists waited for the BLS report to determine if the unemployment data for April would be similar to that of March or if it would increase back to numbers seen in early 2012. With the report showing a growth of 115,000 jobs overall and 130,000 added in the private sector, the report was close to that seen in March. Additionally, the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent, which was attributed to people choosing to leave the job market.

According to the report, the nation’s labor force participation rate, which measures the total percentage of the population aged 16 or older that is currently employed, was 63.6 percent—a number that must improve in the future to truly assist in strengthening the economy.

While Mitt Romney, the potential Republican party nominee, shared his disapproval with the report, President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers disagreed and pointed out that private employment rose by nearly 700,000 jobs during the first quarter of 2012, the largest quarterly increase in six years. Additionally, more than 820,000 private sector jobs have been created.

“Manufacturing continues to [also] be a bright spot,” said Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. “After losing millions of good manufacturing jobs in the years before and during the recession, the economy has added 489,000 manufacturing jobs since January 2010.”

Krueger concluded, “Despite adverse shocks that have created headwinds for economic growth the economy has [also] added private sector jobs for 26 straight months, for a total of 4.25 million payroll jobs over that period.”

Other articles of interest

IT Skills Gap Forces CIOs to Get Creative

Computerworld

It's becoming more and more difficult for CIOs to find workers well-versed in ever-changing technologies like wireless networking, cloud computing, mobile security and big data analytics.

Thus, IT managers are looking for people who have training in multiple disciplines. And if they can't find them or can't afford them, they're implementing cross-training programs for the workers they have.

According to several top IT managers at SNW here this week, CIOs are working hard to break down specialization among their staffs.

CEOs Plan to Invest in IT, Innovation in 2012

CIOInsight

While CEOs are worried more about cutting costs than they have been in recent years, driving business growth remains a top priority, according to a recent survey of chief executives by research firm Gartner, Inc. The "2012 Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey" reveals that even as cost cutting remains a priority, companies still plan to make investments in IT. By a ratio of more than two to one, CEOs polled said that they are increasing their IT investment in 2012, rather than cutting it.

"The intention to invest in technology is comparatively healthy," says Jorge Lopez, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "The newer trends, such as mobile and cloud, are rising to the foreground of [the] CEO's attention. However, CRM remains CEOs' favorite IT capability because marketing is a never-ending competitive quest for customer retention."

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