Tech job market weakens in Westchester
Job opportunties in information technology are diminishing in Westchester County as the weakening economy hurts companies that sell everything from software to computers.
The Pace/SkillPROOF IT Index, which tracks the regional employment outlook for technology jobs, dropped by more than 30 percent during the first three months of the year.
The decline in the index from 53 to 37 was the steepest since the index was started three years ago.
One company that has been cutting jobs is IBM Corp., the biggest employer in Westchester. The Armonk-based company laid off an estimated 4,000 people in January and thousands more in March from operations around the country, according to an employee group. IBM has not disclosed the number of workers who have been affected at its offices in the Lower Hudson Valley.
Analysts said they see no quick turnaround for tech companies.
Worldwide technology spending is expected to fall 3.8 percent to $3.2 trillion in 2009, according to research firm Gartner Inc.
“IT organizations worldwide are being asked to trim budgets, and consumers are cutting back on discretionary spending,” said Richard Gordon, research vice president and head of global forecasting at Gartner, based in Stamford, Conn.
The Pace report found that the one of the weakest categories for tech jobs in Westchester was research computer scientists with a drop of more than 20 percent. Jobs for software engineers, applications showed the largest increase during the quarter, followed by systems analysts.
Despite the slowdown in Westchester, the report found that the county was holding up better than other areas of the New York metro area, where demand for information technolgy professionals has decreased by more than 60 percent.
The index is a joint project of Pace University and SkillPROOF Inc., a Bridgeport, Conn., technology firm specializing in job market research.