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New job realities ahead for IT workers

Patrick Thibodeau | Jan. 18, 2016
Next time, an economic downturn may be different for tech.

"We do not see layoffs on the horizon," said Scavo, whose firm runs ongoing surveys of IT managers. "It's not a hiring boom by any means, but tech staffing is still healthy," he said. Only 7% of IT executives expect to see staff cuts in 2016, while 40% plan to hire more staff members, said Scavo.

But Victor Janulaitis, the CEO of Janco Associates, said IT hiring, which slowed in the last few months of last year, will be impacted by the financial market turmoil. "I think we're seeing the first phase of a new downturn in the economy," he said. He expects IT hiring to be flat this year.

For his part, Mark Roberts, the CEO of TechServe Alliance, which also tracks IT hiring, doesn't see the recent softening in IT hiring as a sign of impending economic decline.

"IT employment has been growing at a very steady clip and still outperforms the overall workforce," said Roberts. "At some point, the significantly elevated rate of growth is not sustainable," he said.

There's another factor that may have had a role in GE's move to Boston: GE has been angry over Connecticut's rising tax rates, creating a political storm.

The tax climate is more favorable in Massachusetts than Connecticut, says the Tax Foundation, an independent tax policy research organization. Massachusetts is ranked 25th nationally, versus Connecticut, near the bottom of tax favorability at 44. But the tax climate is even worse in California, which is ranked at 48, and that's the state with the nation's highest concentration of technology jobs.


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