Mountain Region Leads Nation in Anticipated IT Hiring Growth, Survey Shows

Mar 6, 2007

MENLO PARK, CA -- Fourteen percent of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed for the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report plan to add full-time information technology (IT) staff in the second quarter, while 2 percent anticipate personnel reductions.  The net 12 percent hiring increase is the second highest since the third quarter of 2002.

The national poll includes responses from more than 1,400 CIOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.  It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis.  The company has been tracking IT hiring activity in the United States since 1995.

Key Findings

  • CIOs cited business growth as the top factor driving IT hiring for the second consecutive quarter.
  • Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) skills are in greatest demand, according to the survey, followed by network administration (Cisco, Nortel, Novell).
  • CIOs in the Mountain1 region lead the nation in hiring optimism, results show.
  • Technology executives at the largest firms (1,000 or more employees) will be most active, with a net 19 percent increase in hiring activity forecast.

“Favorable economic conditions have prompted many companies to expand operations and increase their investment in information technology,” said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology.

“This environment is contributing to increased IT hiring activity,” Lee added.  “In the case of high-demand skill sets such as Windows administration and database management, experienced IT professionals often are receiving multiple job offers.”

Among CIOs who expect to hire, 36 percent said business growth or expansion was the primary reason, followed by 28 percent who cited increased demand for customer and/or end-user support professionals.  The installation or development of new enterprisewide applications was named by 14 percent of respondents as the chief reason for IT hiring increases.

Skills in Demand

Microsoft Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) was ranked by 73 percent of CIOs surveyed as the skill set most in demand.  This specialty was followed by network administration (Cisco, Nortel, Novell), mentioned by 62 percent of respondents, and database management (Oracle, SQL Server, DB2), by 60 percent of respondents.  (Note: CIOs surveyed were allowed multiple responses.) 

Regional Outlook

The Mountain region showed a sizable gain in the number of companies expecting to hire in the second quarter, reclaiming the top spot it held for three of the last five quarters.  Twenty-four percent of IT executives anticipate hiring increases, while 1 percent forecast declines, for a net 23 percent increase in hiring activity, up 19 points from the prior quarter.

“Active hiring in the Mountain states is not surprising given the nature of growth in many of the region’s metropolitan areas,” Lee said.  “In particular, companies are hiring web developers and security specialists to enhance their online presence and safeguard networks and mobile devices.”

In the Pacific2 region, 16 percent of CIOs surveyed plan to hire and none anticipate staff cutbacks, for a net 16 percent hiring increase.                       

Industries Hiring

The finance, insurance and real estate industry led all business sectors with 38 percent of CIOs expecting to add personnel and 1 percent projecting staff reductions in the second quarter, resulting in a net 37 percent hiring increase. 

IT executives in the transportation sector also forecast solid hiring increases, with 19 percent planning personnel additions and 1 percent expecting staff reductions, for a net 18 percent hiring increase. 

With more than 100 locations in North America, Europe and Asia, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis, for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support.  For more information about Robert Half Technology or to learn about online job search opportunities, please visit

National Hiring IT Projections

IT Hiring Index: Two-Year History

Hot IT Jobs

IT Skills in Demand

Factors Driving IT Hiring

IT Hiring Projections by Region

IT Hiring Projections by Industry

IT Hiring Projections by Metro Market

1 Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
2 Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington

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