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More contract workers in IT industry

Posted on October 17th, 2013 Read time: 1 minutes

The percentage of contract workers in the IT industry, which increased heavily last year, remains high for 2013. According to Computer Economics, 15 percent of employees are contract workers compared to 6 percent in 2010 and 2011. Last year, the number had surged to 17 percent.

The last spike in IT contract hiring came in the late 1990s, when tech firms needed help making their code Y2K compliant. Today, the rise can be attributed to a number of factors, including the need for work on temporary projects, such as mobile applications or big data initiatives. According to employment website Monster, contract IT work generally lasts about 6 months, but three-month or year-long assignments are also common. Companies may be desiring short term help to develop apps for their services or revamp the backend of their websites.

The increase since 2011 might also reflect reluctance to hire permanent employees. Computer Economics suggested that new insurance rules in the Affordable Care Act may have some influence on the trend. However, according to Monster, contract workers are typically paid about 30 percent more, which can balance out the lack of benefits.

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