Survey Shows Slower Job Growth For U.S. High-Tech Sector

By Agence France-Presse High-technology firms have cut their hiring estimates for this year by 27% as a result of a sputtering technology sector, according to a recent survey. The Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) survey found that the overall size of the IT workforce grew by a net 85,437 since January 2002, to 9,981,353. But the survey also found that hiring managers have adjusted their 12-month hiring outlook. In January 2002, these individuals indicated their intent to fill 1,148,639 IT positions over the year, but by July 2002, the volume of demand had dropped to 834,727. At the same time, the study found that the rate of hirings to dismissals of IT workers improved substantially over the previous 12 months, moving to a net gain compared to full-year 2001, in which dismissals exceeded hirings. "Hiring managers appear to be less bullish than at the start of the year -- even as many forecasters have predicted an IT industry turnaround in 2003," notes ITAA president Harris Miller. "My concern is that a sluggish job market today could turn off many prospective information-systems and computer-science students, resulting in rampant IT talent shortages a few years down the road." The ITAA, based in Arlington, Va., said the job market appears to be stabilizing for high-tech workers, with the number of layoffs falling to 116,000 per month in the first six months of the year from 218,000 last year. "This suggests that companies may have made the cuts necessary to their IT worker rolls and current employment levels are in tune with current economic realities," ITAA said in a statement. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2002

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