2014 Outlook for Contract Employees

If you are looking for contract employment in the IT industry, 2014 promises to be filled with opportunities. A recent survey of US employers suggests that there will be more new and vacant contract positions in 2014 than in 2013.

The survey reports that 42% of respondents plan to hire contract employees this year, up from 40% in the previous year. Unfortunately, employers also indicated that they plan to hire fewer full time employees. The data reveals that 24% of the companies surveyed will add full time employees in 2014, down 2% from last year.

This is evidence of a growing but still uncertain economy. Companies are seeing improvements, but they are not yet ready to start growing the ranks of their staff. That is why they will increasingly rely on contract employees. These employees can fill in necessary gaps in staff without adding to the payroll in the long term.

The good news is that the IT and engineering sectors fare much better than others. Of the respondents that plan to hire additional full-time staff, 29% plan to hire IT professionals, and 17% plan to hire engineers.

This follows on the heels of other recent reports which suggest that technical jobs have been insulated from some of the sluggish effects of the economy. Analysts looked at the fastest growing jobs between 2010 and 2013 in order to predict which positions would continue to grow in 2014. The tech sector is heavily represented.

IT jobs expected to grow in 2014

  • Software, Applications, and Systems Developers
  • Web Developers
  • Database Administrators
  • Information Security Analysts

It is important to consider, also, that the study was limited to jobs that paid at least $22 an hour. So not only are these growing specialties, they are growing specialties at the top of the pay scale. That suggests that companies continue to value the role of IT professionals and see them as integral to their growth and success.

The takeaway is that things could be better, but if you are looking for employment, the IT and engineering fields are good places to be looking. Full-time employment may continue to be elusive, but contract jobs are growing, and they are an important stepping stone. As the economy stabilizes and companies begin to commit to full-time employees, they will look first at the contact employees who already understand their business.

If you are searching for work, the start of 2014 is a great time to redouble your efforts. To learn more about today’s job market, and to connect with employers in need, work with the staffing experts at Selectek.