Off to a Good Start

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I confess: Thanksgiving hadn’t even passed this year when I resolved to give up resolutions. Bad habits aside, I’ve learned from years of promises waiting to be broken that I might as well not try. So there I was, anticipating turkey and set in my determination to let the usual New Year’s lies go unspoken.

But as 2003 draws to a close, I can’t help but search out a soapbox. I’ll consider this not so much a resolution but a resolve, less prophecy and more power of positive thinking. It’s wish fulfillment, not wish listing, and no fair pointing out that I expressed the same flowery hopes last year.

Ready? Here it comes: I think things—economic things—are going to get better this year. I was right last year, in that 2003 was a cut above 2002 in terms of opportunity. But 2004 is really going to see a return to easier times.

OK, it’s a powerful statement, one that’s no doubt powerfully hard to believe if you’re still un- or under-employed. But I’m not without my sources on this, anecdotal and actual.

Anecdotal first: I’m hearing from fewer readers who are looking for work. I realize this could just be a lack of comment on an ongoing situation, but I’m choosing to believe it’s a sign of general improvement. You’re welcome to write me and right me if I’m wrong; I have been before.

On the actual signs, consider this from the November “Dice Report,” a monthly mailing the technology job board produces after analyzing its postings:

  • The Washington, D.C., area has seen a 94 percent increase in jobs from November 2002 to November 2003.


  • Other cities are also seeing more postings: St. Louis (up 47 percent), Denver (up 172 percent), Tampa/Orlando and Minneapolis (both areas up 75 percent).
  • Employers are looking for experience with ASP (job postings up 340 percent) and Sun Solaris (up 94 percent), among other tools and technologies.
  • In October 2003, Dice saw more than 30,000 jobs posted, a high-water mark the job board hasn’t hit since August 2002. Overall the board is seeing its highest number of postings since 2001.I know, I know: One positive report doesn’t a recovery make. But the good news is coming more often, and the rose-colored outlook I’m adopting this New Year doesn’t seem as misplaced as last January’s optimism.You tell me: Are things really better out there?

    Tim Sosbe

    Editorial Director



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