IT Organizations Expect Slight Rise in Workforce

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Following a three-year slump in job creation in the United States, in which the IT industry was hit especially hard, growth began to pick up again near the end of last year. A new survey, conducted by people3, predicts this progression will continue–if only to a small extent–as a majority of IT units within U.S. companies expect to expand their workforce slightly in the next 12 months.

The findings in people3’s “2004 IT Market Compensation Study” are based on research compiled from survey data submitted by 153 organizations as of March 1, 2004. The study includes detailed compensation data for approximately 40,000 IT employees within the United States.


Of the organizations polled, 62 percent project some level of increase in their IT headcount (which includes full-time employees and contractors as supplementary staff). Forty-seven percent of respondents predict a workforce increase of between 1 percent and 5 percent.


The turnover rate has influenced staffing levels, said Lily Mok, senior consultant at people3. IT turnover during the past 12 months continued to be at a very low level for both employee- and employer-initiated turnovers across the board. “Employer-initiated turnover was slightly higher than employee voluntary turnover,” she said. “This suggests that some businesses continue to exercise reduction-in-force and/or restructuring strategies in an effort to reach an optimal, cost-effective IT staffing level.”


Findings showed competitive reward packages and balance between work and personal life are among the most important components that attract and keep IT talent. Most companies continued to calibrate levels for IT base salary and total cash compensation with the 50th percentile of current market pay practices. The average budgeted base salary increase for IT employees for 2004 is 3.2 percent, which is 0.3 percent lower than the increase in the 2003 budget reported in the study last year.


The study also showed the most difficult positions for IT organizations to fill included database administrator, Internet/Web architect, network architect, security analyst, network engineer and project manager. The skills that IT organizations had the greatest difficulty in recruiting were PeopleSoft and Oracle financial, followed by Oracle development, J2EE, Java and Oracle administration, Microsoft .NET and SAP/ABAP.


For more information on the survey, visit

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