Demand for IT professionals reaches all-time high

Contract roles twice as numerous as full-time ones

The demand for IT professionals in Canada is on the rise and shows no sign of slowing down, according to a new report.

According to statistics compiled by IT staffing firm CNC Global, the demand for IT staff in Canadian companies reached an all-time high during the first quarter of 2007. These latest numbers reflect a 10-per-cent increase over the last quarter and even surpassed the demand experienced during the build up to Y2K.

“The demand for IT professionals has been increasing steadily over the past 36 months demonstrating a steady growth. This continues to put pressure on the talent supply. It is also forcing companies to adopt new ways to attract the talent that they need. We’re seeing this right across the country,” said Terry Power, president of CNC Global.

CNC Global’s Quarterly Report, IT Staffing Requirements in the Canadian Market – Q2, 2007, identifies key hiring trends among Canada’s blue chip companies and small-medium sized enterprises.

Highlights from the report:


The demand for full-time roles continues to grow in all regions across the country. It accounts for 50 per cent of all demand in the Toronto area.

Typically, this growth would come at the expense of contract positions, but over the last quarter, the demand for contract roles increased 26 per cent, up 31 per cent over the last 6 months. As a result, contract opportunities remain twice as numerous as full-time ones.

Web developers are still the most sought after professionals, accounting for one in every five job orders. However, the need for architects spiked 330 per cent across the country, the largest increase for a single position this quarter.

Regional markets:

About half of the IT jobs continue to be in the Toronto area, but regional growth continues to be strong, especially in the West.

In Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg, CNC Global experienced an average 14-per-cent increase in the demand for permanent hires, the strongest first quarter growth in permanent hiring that the West has seen in three years. In Calgary, full-time position requirements surged 33 per cent. In Edmonton they jumped 19 per cent (after a 48 per cent increase during 2006).

The strongest growth in the West was in Calgary. Requirements jumped almost 20 per cent with a focus on architects, business analysts and help desk support.

Halifax showed the most growth in infrastructure-related roles, up 244 per cent over the fourth quarter of 2006. Contract requirements in Halifax doubled in the last three months, and permanent requirements jumped 29 per cent.

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