The Roundup: Demand for Tech Talent Fades by Half

A survey of IT shops suggests that fewer IT positions will go unfilled in 2001.
Tech Talent Still Craved, But Less So

Information technology remains at the forefront of the U.S. economy, accounting for approximately 7% of the nation's workforce, according to a study by the Arlington, Va.-based Information Technology Association of America. The study found that more than 10.4 million people in the United States are IT workers, and this number does not include jobs in government, nonprofit organizations, or small entrepreneurial firms. Demand for IT workers is down 44% from 2000, but employers will still attempt to fill more than 900,000 new IT jobs in 2001. The talent gap for IT workers remains large, although it has closed compared with 2000. Managers report an anticipated shortfall of 425,000 IT workers to fill their openings. In 2000, the ITAA found a shortfall of approximately 850,000 workers. Non-IT companies remain the largest employers of IT workers with 9.5 million, and they also generate greater demand at more than 640,000 and experience the larger gap at approximately 303,000. This isn't surprising when you consider that 22 non-IT companies exist for every IT company in the United States. Non-IT companies expect their IT workers to remain on staff an average of six months longer than their IT company counterparts, the study found. The average acceptable tenure at non-IT companies is 36 months, compared with 30 months at IT companies. Non-IT companies also retain their employees longer. Eighty-two percent remain on board for an acceptable length of time, compared with 74% for IT company employees.

Speech Recognition Gets Recognized

Speech recognition is poised to enter every walk of life as new applications are developed and prices drop, according to Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Cahners In-Stat Group. In its speech recognition market report, the high-tech market research firm finds that in 2005, sales of speech recognition software engines, the basis for all speech recognition products, will reach $2.7 billion.

North American Share of Global B2B Shrinks

North America continued to drive more than half of B2B Internet commerce transactions in 2000, but other regions of the world are expected to grow at a faster rate, according to Gartner Group, Inc., based in Stamford, Conn. In 2000, worldwide B2B Internet commerce surpassed $433.3 billion, and in 2001, that total is projected to reach $919 billion. North America accounted for 59% of the worldwide total in 2000, with B2B Internet commerce totaling $255 billion, and in 2001, it will represent 52% as it hits $480 billion. By 2005, worldwide B2B Internet commerce will be more than $8.5 trillion, and the North American region will total $3.6 trillion, only 42% of the overall market.

Compiled by Zachary Rodgers.

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