Weekly Word on the Street: Another Batch of Good News

by Jim Staats | Feb 10, 2012

Takeaway of the week is another batch of signs pointing to upticks in IT job growth as the fledgling 2012 data trickles in. More IT jobs added overall; mobile apps and such mean more job creation this year; more focus on data storage, networking and mobile apps means more IT spending this year. So, yeah, IT jobs are out there to be had.

IT Jobs Out of the Gate Strong in 2012
All sectors of the IT industry showed job growth in the first month of this year, with telecom leading the pack, according to new data.

January saw an added 47,500 jobs in the tech sector, with more than 10,000 generated within the telecom industry, reports based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show.

The data indicates computer system design and tethered services added 34,200 jobs in the timespan while data processing was responsible for another 2,200 jobs and information services 900 new jobs, a ChannelPartners item reported this week.

The U.S. economy as a whole saw improvement as 2012 got underway with an added 243,000 jobs, a steady increase on the 200,000 jobs added in December.

The Associated Press reported that the unemployment rate of 8.3 percent last month was the lowest such figure in the past three years.

In a just completed survey of 107 organizations’ hiring trends, M.V. Janulaitis, CEO of Janco Associates, said the firm found that a quarter of those firms planned to add to their IT staffs in the coming month.

‘App Economy’ Good for Tech Jobs
A new study shows the continued reliance on more mobile offerings is a boon for tech jobs, to the tune of an additional half-million.

Yep, this new environment, being dubbed the “app economy,” is generating more and more jobs for programmers, designers, marketers, managers, support and other roles, the latest study out this week from CEO network TechNet suggests.

Analysts show that in the U.S. alone, the devouring of all things mobile has resulted in an estimated 466,000 additional jobs created, up from zero in 2007, according to a CNET article on the study.

Jobs in this new economy, the report shows, are being generated to create apps on iOS and Android devices at firms such as Electronic Arts, Amazon, AT&T, Apple, Google and Facebook, to name drop a few biggies.

Data, collected for the tech group by Michael Mandel, president of South Mountain Economics, was gathered by several methods including numerous searches of help wanted ads and studying third-party app developers.

Mandel does note this particular phenomenon is still in its early stages and continuing to grow, rapidly.

“Innovation creates jobs, and in this case, lots of them,” he said.


Networking, Data Storage to Boost IT Spending
Job seekers in the IT sector can read into another tidbit of good news in the latest forecast suggesting IT spending worldwide is expected to grow five percent this year.

While some regions may see more growth than others, the latest report from market researcher IDC suggests the healthy bump in spending will benefit greatly from the needs of network equipment and data storage system enterprises, according to a new CRN article.

Regions showing a significant increase in demand for IT products include emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil, while demand in the U.S. will be driven by mobile device purchases in addition to networking and data storage needs.

IDC analysis suggested the PC industry will show some growth this year as well following a down year in 2011 due to a shortage of disk drives.

However, in the economically-strained Europe, IT spending is expected to increase by less than one percent this year with a forecast for a three percent increase in 2013, IDC reports.

“In a downside scenario, things could get much uglier in Europe and have a ripple effect through other regions,” said Stephen Minton, IDC’s VP of global technology and industry research organization, in a statement.

Returning to the bright side, though, last year’s healthy growth, the basis for overall positive news, was fueled by sales of smartphones, software and disk storage systems.

Study: H-1B Workers Better Educated, Compensated than U.S. Counterparts
A new economic study shows that workers utilizing the H-1B visa program tend to be earning better and equipped with a better education than U.S.-born workers.

The research, done by a pair of economists at the Public Policy Institute of California, found that H-1B workers were on average about 10 years younger with earnings about 10 percent higher than equivalent U.S. workers, a new Computerworld article notes.

The study is drawing some attention from several quarters, including those who see the immigration policies used within the program as a detriment to U.S. workers.

Norman Matloff, a professor of computer science at the University of California at Davis, said findings on age aided his argument that the H-1B visa helped employers save money by hiring younger, “thus cheaper, H-1Bs, instead of older, thus more expensive Americans.”

Findings were compiled by Magnus Lofstrom and Joseph Hayes through data gathered by Freedom of Information Act requests to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service and U.S. Census data.

The study also found that less than a quarter of U.S.-born workers in IT have graduate degrees while nearly one-half of the H-1B workers had earned advanced degrees.

A strong message to come out of the study, co-author Lofstrom said, was “that there is no evidence of lower pay amongst H-1Bs.”

For full report details and more data on the ongoing H-1B battle, read the entire article at: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9223947/H_1B_workers_are_better_paid_more_educated_study_finds

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