North American IT Hiring Looking Up

Early indicators point towards an increase in demand for IT professionals in 2011, creating an optimistic start to the New Year. According to FINS Technology, a segment of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, Intel announced plans to add more than 1,000 new positions in 2011. The increased production of Intel’s products could indicate expansion for the entire information technology sector.

Intel’s original plan was to add only about 1,000 new employees in 2010. FINS Technology stated that Intel ended up bringing on more than twice as many as planned to meet rising demand.  Intel’s career website also lists an additional 1,100 openings that the company is actively filling.

A recent joint survey between IBM Canada Limited and Canadian IT staffing company also suggests an increase in IT hiring in 2011. The survey found that 95 percent of the surveyed expect their IT staffing levels to remain the same or grow in 2011. The survey showed that only 14 percent of the increased demand is being driven by organizational growth, 23 percent by the implementation of new enterprise-wide applications and 34 percent is due to increased workload. Of the companies expecting to grow their IT staff, 66 percent said they will be looking mostly for application developers with Java and .net skills.

However, The Conference Board’s, a non-advocacy organization that provides economic data and analysis, December 2010 monthly survey of online help-wanted ads showed a slight decline for computer and mathematical science workers. The ratio of these unemployed workers to advertised openings continues to be one of the lowest compared to other professions and the highest in terms of the total number of online ads.  The Conference Board reported a ratio of 0.36, meaning that for every unemployed computer/math worker there were approximately 2.8 openings available.

The ratios in the Healthcare industry, including practitioners and technical workers surpassed computer/math workers with a ratio of 0.33, or three openings per unemployed healthcare worker. This is compared to the production workers (e.g. manufacturing), whose ratio is 10.9, or almost 11 workers available for each advertised opening. 

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