Tech Workers Believe Economy Is Improving

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Over a third of technology workers believe the economy is improving, and confidence levels are starting to firm up

A new survey has revealed that just over a third of nearly 4,000 US workers believe the economy is improving and just over 40 percent are confident they can find a new job.

Confidence Returning

So found the study conducted by staffing firm Technisource. The Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company tracks IT worker confidence and reported last week that it is slightly up at an increase of 0.8 percent at 51.6 percent. In its last survey in the fourth quarter of 2009, the index was at 50.8.

“I would describe the slight rise in our Index as IT workers being cautiously optimistic,” said Michael Winwood, president of Technisource, in a statement. “That same sentiment is being felt by employers. This improvement can possibly be contributed to the overall health of the economy seemingly getting better, employers making selective IT hires, as well as IT organisations moving forward with projects previously put on hold.”

Since the fourth quarter of 2009, technology workers have perceived little improvement of the economy. In that quarter, only 29 percent believed the economy was improving. While sentiment has improved 3 percent higher in the first quarter (32 percent), the key question to ask is whether the perceptions have changed all that much. It is certainly a mixed bag, and perceptions are all over the place. There is almost an even split between those who feel the economy is getting stronger (32 percent), staying the same (35 percent) and getting weaker (32 percent) for the IT crowd.

The Technisource survey polled 3,906 employed workers, with 219 workers from information technology positions. That’s a pretty small sample size, but in fairness, the IT confidence index is based only on IT workers, not on the full 3,900 participants in the survey.

The Jobs Market

“We are seeing technology investments being made within the telecommunication, finance, and healthcare industries, which is certainly a positive sign,” said Winwood. “To that end, companies are hiring more strategically than in the past and re-evaluating their workforce make-up to one of a greater mix of contingent versus permanent staff – ultimately one that is less vulnerable to the shifting economic winds.”

As reported by eWEEK, there is a major trend toward skills-based work for hire in technology contracting and managed services work in 2010 and permanent full-time work can be hard to come by. The only really significant thing to report from this study is that employee confidence is at its highest levels in 12 months from lows of 39.7 percent, compared with 51.6 percent now.

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