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September Was A Good Month For Tech Workers, Survey Finds

Job confidence slid in Hudson's national index last month, but IT and telecom pros were optimistic about their job prospects, job security, and personal finances.

Compared with workers in other sectors, tech pros were an optimistic bunch in September, according to a new job-confidence survey released on Wednesday from IT staffing and outsourcing firm Hudson.

While job confidence slid in September in Hudson's national index representing 9,000 workers in several industries, the 448 IT and telecom professionals Hudson surveyed were increasingly optimistic about their job prospects, job security, and personal finances.

Compared to a base score of 100, tech pros last month rated their job confidence at 109.3, up 6.2 points from August, which had suffered a 9.4 point decline from a rating of 112.5 in July, a year-long high. By contrast, the national composite index for all workers fell 2.4 points to 100.5. Besides IT and telecom, other sectors surveyed include accounting and finance, health care, legal, and manufacturing.

This optimism among tech pros was fueled significantly by businesses pushing to fulfill their project commitments for the end of the fourth quarter. The demand for tech talent right now is project-driven, and there's strong pressure to deliver, says Paul Taylor, a Hudson regional VP. That demand is also being reflected in pay rates, which are on the rise, he says.

The demand for tech talent and fatter paychecks help to explain why fewer tech professionals were worried about job security and why more were satisfied with their personal finances last month.

In September, 35% of techies expected their employers to add staff, up 4% from August. At the same time, fewer tech pros were worried about their own job security, down to 23% from 28% in August. Meanwhile, 51% of tech workers said their personal finances were improving last month, up from 44% in August.

But the increasing workload, deadline pressures, and long hours some tech professionals are feeling in the fourth quarter might also explain why 3% fewer techies last month described themselves as being happy with their jobs. In August, 78% said they were content with their jobs; that number fell to 73% in September.

Hudson sees particularly strong demand for developers, especially those with C# skills, says Taylor. At this time last year, the demand from Hudson clients for developers was 70% related to Java, 25% to C#, and 5% to C++. That's not the case this year, with 70% of demand for developers with C# talent, 25% for Java, and 5% for C++.

"IT project work is moving away from efficiencies and costs to business strategy and growing the business," Taylor says. Among the sorts of hot project work Hudson is seeing from clients are "pricing product" applications in the financial services sector and Web services and revenue-generation apps in the media industry.

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee is a former editor for InformationWeek. View Full Bio

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