There's no denying that Middle Tennessee's IT community has a buzz like never before. Networking groups are gaining traction, entrepreneurial ventures are sprouting left and right and various recent events have attracted Googlephiles and those hungry for hackathons. Pub like this Fast Company piece doesn't hurt, either.
So when the Nashville Technology Council's quarterly report on area tech job openings showed a big drop — 17 percent from early this year and 35 percent from last summer — we scratched our heads and called NTC chief Liza Lowery Massey for some perspective.
There's no simple answer that explains the drop, Massey said. Macroeconomic issues definitely play a role — job growth has slowed again nationally and regionally in recent months — while this fall's election has put on hold a lot of people's plans. On top of that, the recent Supreme Court ruling on health care reform may have some of our biggest corporate names treading water as they wait to see how rules and regulations will shake out.
Another factor to consider is that, as efforts by the NTC and others to build a tighter tech community gain a foothold, a lot of hiring activity is becoming more informal and moving away from the job boards that make up the NTC's survey.
One of the positives Massey noted in the NTC's numbers: Two firms outside of health care — law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw & Whitman and logistics giant OHL — showed up among the top companies looking to fill spots. Combine that trend with the other drivers in the local tech scene and things look set to get better, especially once the macro clouds dissipate.
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