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IT staffing supply and demand drifting apart as market projected to reach $30.9 billion this year, SIA report says

February 21, 2018

IT employment growth has outpaced that of the overall economy for the last 15 years, and the IT staffing segment has a relatively high temporary agency penetration rate in the US, according to the “IT Staffing Growth Assessment: 2018 Update” recently released by Staffing Industry Analysts. However, a supply constraint remains.

About half of IT staffing revenue is derived from the US, where SIA forecasts revenue will maintain a 4% growth trajectory in 2018 to $30.9 billion, which would represent the eighth consecutive year of growth for the market and a new all-time high.

“Despite stable market growth trends, the IT staffing landscape has become increasingly complex as supply and demand continue to drift further apart,” said Brian Wallins, senior research analyst at SIA and author of the report.

“Digital business transformation is driving investment in IT projects and workers, particularly those with specialized IT skill sets,” Wallins said. “Temporary IT staffing is on a secular uptrend as buyers demand the flexibility to tap into these specialized skills, while managing costs. While a shortage of high-level IT talent enhances the value proposition of staffing services, it has also resulted in acute recruiting challenges.”

The number of computer science grads in the US bottomed out between 2008 and 2009 and has increased each year since, providing a boost for IT labor supply. However, only 6% of the IT workforce in the US is between the ages of 20 and 24, compared to 9% for the overall economy.  Meanwhile, coding bootcamps are becoming an increasingly important resource in accelerating IT workforce development.

However, training and education have not kept pace with technological change, resulting in a deepening skills mismatch in the IT sector. The annual cap on H-1B visas, an avenue for bringing IT talent into the US, is serving as a constraint on bringing in talent as well.

The full report is available online to SIA corporate members.


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