Surveys disagree on numbers, but still see IT hiring as slow, steady

Salaries cut during recession will come back more slowly than jobs

IDC is predicting IT spending will grow 5.7 percent globally next year, nearly double the 3 percent we saw this year. That won't translate into hordes of new hires, however, according to both market research firm Computer Economics and national IT recruiter Robert Half International.

A survey Computer Economics conducted on 136 companies with revenues above $50 million found 48 percent planned to add staff in 2011, compared to 11 percent that planned to reduce.

That's a big difference from the 10 percent planning to add staff versus five percent planning to reduce IT headcount, according to John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology.

The difference may be in Computer Economics' examination of outsourcing, contracting and other ways to add IT skills to an organization as well as full time workers.

Reed's numbers consider only full-time hires.

Neither study shows a lot of growth in either the number of hires or the salaries. Both reflect "steady, slow growth," as Reed describes it, and a slow recovery from a recession that cut 250,000 IT jobs across the country and across-the-board cuts in salary.

Here's hoping for the best for next year.

Kevin Fogarty writes about enterprise IT for ITworld. Follow him on Twitter @KevinFogarty.

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