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IT Hiring Slows in May


by Rachel King

The U.S. economy added only 200 IT jobs in May, compared with the 6,600 jobs added April. The numbers seem to follow those of the general economy which saw U.S. job growth fall sharply and the unemployment rate tick up to 8.2%, according to numbers out today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Everybody is pulling back until after the election,” says Victor Janulaitis, CEO at consulting firm Janco Associates. His firm talked to 107 CIOs based in the U.S. in late May. “They’ve been told by senior management to put on the brakes. ”

Many CIOs do have short-term needs to fill but most are hiring temporary workers to fill them and keeping full-time equivalent headcounts level, according to Janulaitis.

Pitney Bowes CIO Gregory Buoncontri is one of the few who’s still hiring permanent workers. “We’ve got a number of openings,” he said, adding, “we’re being prudent but we’re continuing to hire. ” Buoncontri says that the election and the European debt crisis - which he expects to spread globally - will have ramifications. But right now he’s after new hires in cloud and mobility, areas that are of strategic importance to the company.

A number of companies have announced layoffs in recent weeks, including Hewlett-Packard, Bank of America, and United Continental. Layoffs have even trickled from Main Street to Sesame Street. Elmo seems to be safe for now but on May 24, Sesame Workshop laid off about a dozen workers after laying off 60 in 2009. The biggest of those cuts have been in digital media.

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In a continuing survey of CIOs hiring trends Janco has found that CIOs are not as optimistic as they were earlier this year. Many of the CIOs interviewed by Janco do not feel that overall hiring will improve significantly until sometime in 2013. The CEO of Janco, Mr. Victor Janulaitis said, “In telephone interviews in late May of 107 US based CIOs we found that most have some short term needs that are of a ‘temporary’ nature. CIOs are continuing to keep the overall FTE (full time equivalent) headcounts level and do not see any increase in permanent staffing within the next several months. "   Janco’s CEO added, “A few CIOs in selected areas like SF Bay Area and Boston are bullish, however for the most part CIOs continues to remain cautious. ”

He added, “One in five CIO’s are looking to hire lower level staff within the next 3 months to fill short term needs. Many are looking for contractors and consultants with particular sets of skills to meet the demands of mobile computing. In addition some of these same CIO are looking towards implementation process to allow users to use their own personal devices - BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) - to minimize capital expenditures and improve ROI. ”

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