Contract tech hiring is driving employment in the tech sector, which now has an unemployment rate of 4.4%, just slightly more than half the national average, reports IT niche job board Dice.com.
“Companies are using flexible talent more — creating opportunities,” says Dice, explaining that, ”Technology consulting is contributing to job growth – with more than 20,000 positions added in the 1st quarter.”
According to the job board, network architects have the lowest rate of unemployment — .5% — while computer support specialists have the highest at 6.3%, still well below the unadjusted national rate of 7.7%. (Unemployment rates for specialities is not seasonally adjusted.)
Dice says there is “significant optimism” for tech staffing through the end of the year. It cites analysts’ expectations of double-digit staffing revenue growth and improved margins, particularly for healthcare IT.
Robert Half, meanwhile, predicts IT hiring of all types to be slower this quarter than last, with about a 3% overall increase in hiring activity. The employment firm says 85% of the CIOs it surveyed plan no change in hiring in this second quarter, an increase of 15 points from the first quarter of the year.
“Although hiring in the second quarter isn’t expected to be as robust as it was at the beginning of the year, the trend remains positive. Those in hot specialties, such as networking and IT security, will continue to be in strong demand,” says John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology. “Mobile media is an especially important area of growth right now.”
Hiring is expected to be strongest in the Mountain states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, says the Robert Half report. By metro area, Dice says the largest number of jobs posted on the site as of May 1 were in the New York/New Jersey area, followed by Washington/Baltimore, Silicon Valley, Chicago, and Boston.