by Meridith Levinson

Are You Worried about the Impact of a Recession on Your Job? You Should Be.

Jan 04, 20082 mins

I’ve seen a lot of rosy predictions about the job situation for technology professionals in 2008. IT staffing experts expect low unemployment among technology workers, higher salaries and lots of job opportunities.

Those predictions seem way out of touch with macroeconomic trends, specifically the ongoing collapse of the housing market and its impact on the financial services sector. All signs indicate that the U.S. economy is on a collision course with a recession. The indicators—rising oil prices, inflation and tight-fisted lenders to name just a few—have been flashing like seedy neon signs since at least this past fall.

And now, with the bleak employment report the U.S. Department of Labor issued today, the likelihood of IT workers (or any professional for that matter) coasting through 2008 flush with job opportunities and rising compensation seems completely preposterous to me. How could these so-called staffing experts not factor the shaky economy into their predictions? Did you buy their Panglossian predictions about increased opportunities?

Call me Debbie Downer, but I think we’re going to see layoffs in 2008, not job growth, in IT and across corporate America. I hope I’m wrong, but I do believe that IBM’s announcement that it’s restructuring its systems and technology group is a harbinger of things to come. I expect we’ll see many more such announcements from companies as the year wears on. What do you think? How will you prepare for a recession?