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Nearly half of the U.S. IT workforce is planning to change jobs in the next year, according to a study released May 31 by recruiting and staffing firm Spherion Corporation.

“Right now, it is clearly an employee’s market for IT workers,” said Brendan Courtney, senior vice president of Spherion Professional Services, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in a statement.

“A technology renaissance has intersected with a time in which aging boomers are exiting the workforce and moving into retirement. Thanks to the success of companies like Google and MySpace leading the latest Web 2.0 boom, new ‘me too’ startups are getting funded every day and are proving to be attractive employers. Open positions being left by retiring boomers also must be filled, so you can see how the candidate has the clear advantage,” said Courtney.

The Q1 IT Employment Report found that 48 percent of technology professionals (compared to 34 percent of the workforce overall) anticipate launching a new job search in the coming months, owing the high turnover rate to a strong IT market.

Click here to read more about IT brain drain.

Spherion’s IT Employee Confidence Index, which measures workers’ confidence in their employment situations, was up 1.6 points in the first quarter of 2006 with 70 percent of respondents indicating that it was unlikely that their jobs would be eliminated in the next year.

The report attributes this increase in worker confidence to the retention programs many employers have put in place in the face of trends—from retiring baby boomers to increased competition in the technology market—which have the potential to drain the IT workforce.

IT workers beat the overall U.S. average in job-seeking confidence with 19 percent (versus 14 percent) responding that they feel they will have the ability to find a new job.

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