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Linium Hiring Index Shows IT Jobs Growing but Remain Difficult to Fill

First, the good news: demand for information technology jobs, particularly those in hardware, network, security and support, continues to grow. Now, the challenge: two in three Capital Region employers say it remains difficult to find skilled workers to fill them. That’s according to the Linium Hiring Index for the third quarter of 2017 released today by Linium Recruiting, the region’s leading recruiter for high-tech and professional positions.

A majority of the human resource and hiring managers participating in the quarterly survey, 56 percent, identified IT jobs as offering the fastest-growing technology job opportunities, up from 46 percent in both the previous quarter and a year ago. For only the second time in two years, infrastructure jobs, at 44 percent, outpaced development positions for web, software and applications, at 41 percent, and were also up from 34 percent last year.

At the same time, recruiting for tech positions was characterized as a significant challenge or challenging by 66 percent of hiring managers, unchanged from the previous quarter. And for the 8th consecutive survey, the skills gap was identified as the biggest impediment to hiring, rising from 31 percent last quarter to 42 percent this quarter, which is unchanged from one year ago.

“The rising demand for tech jobs, particularly in IT, speaks to the continued strength of the Capital Region’s high-tech sector,” said Miriam Dushane, Managing Director, Upstate New York for Linium Recruiting. “However, it is clear that addressing the skills gap must remain a priority if we are to seize the opportunity to attract additional investment and grow the regional economy.”

Expectations for the region’s high-tech job growth remain strong, with 83 percent of employers describing themselves as either very optimistic or optimistic, which was unchanged from last quarter and up from 74 percent a year ago. And more than half, 52 percent, said the regional economy was much better or better than the national economy, up from 42 percent last year, though down from 65 percent last quarter.

In terms of hiring, nearly half of HR managers, 49 percent, expect to add tech-based jobs during the third quarter, consistent with the previous quarter and last year. Asked if Trump administration policies are affecting their hiring plans, 71 percent saw no immediate impact, though three times as many – 17 percent as compared to 5 percent – pointed to economic momentum that could lead to future growth.

Conducted from June 13 through July 14, 61 percent of survey responses came from companies with 100 or fewer employees, with 39 percent from firms with more than 100 employees.

The Linium Hiring Index gives companies unique insight into the Capital Region’s technology job market, and is used by hiring managers to help develop strategies to recruit and retain a highly skilled workforce. The next quarterly index will be released in October.

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