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  • Employee confidence has climbed to its highest level in more than a decade, according to the most recent U.S. Employee Confidence Index (ECI) survey from Randstad US. Given that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that March job gains declined to 126,000—after average monthly gains of nearly 270,000 for the past year—the index findings present encouraging news. An increasing number of workers surveyed said that more jobs are available than in the recent past, and they have greater confidence in their ability to find a new job. In addition, these employees are more confident in the future of their current employer. "The stalled employment numbers have already led to discussions … as to whether they simply represent a bump in the road or perhaps early signs that a broader economic slowdown is beginning," says Jim Link, chief HR officer at Randstad North America. "However, it's important to remember that in previous recessions, consumer sentiment started declining well before the economy visibly weakened. Right now, several indicators show consumer sentiment is still rising, [and] workers feel very confident in the economy and overall job market." More than 1,970 U.S. employees took part in the research, which was conducted by the Harris Poll.

  • It's a great time to be in DevOps, as the salaries in this field have risen above the six-figure level, according to a recent survey from Incapsula and The resulting "DevOps Salary Survey 2015" report indicates that bonuses are common for professionals in this field, and concerns about job security are minimal. As defined by the report, the term DevOps describes an agile approach to software development that stresses communication, collaboration and integration between software developers and IT operations. Most organizations depend on these employees for Website, software as a service (SaaS) and e-commerce tasks. However, their actual job titles vary widely and include system administrator, Web developer, platform engineer, back-end developer, security manager and even IT director. To excel in DevOps, professionals must combine non-tech skills (including communication, analytical thinking and project management) with tech ones (including cloud deployment, systems architecture and configuration management). More than 440 DevOps professionals took part in the research. (For the purposes of our reporting, certain percentages were rounded off.)

  • Only a minority of workers surveyed think they have good work-life balance, and they cite the constant access to technology as a primary culprit, according to a recent survey conducted by the Harris Poll for Workfront. The "Work-Life Imbalance Report" points out that a combination of demanding bosses, the constant need to work outside of normal hours and inflexible schedules regularly intrude on personal time. As a result, many employees have missed major life occasions, such as birthdays and their children's events, and most feel that the concept of the family dinner has essentially been ruined. Citing other research, Workfront notes that studies show that employees are more focused when they receive appropriate amounts of downtime. The company suggests that employers should establish acceptable times to send and receive emails (and when not to send messages), and should encourage their staffers to use all their available paid time off (PTO). "Technology is infused throughout our modern lifestyle—be it in the home or at work—but we need to be conscientious about how and when to use it," advises Joe Staples, CMO of Workfront. "More times than not, there are no parameters set by employers on what they require from employees after hours. So the default can be an always-on lifestyle—with a potential for burnout." More than 600 workers took part in the survey.

  • Money isn't everything, but it certainly can help solve a lot of problems. So it's good to know that nine of the 15 employers on Glassdoor's recently released "America's 15 Highest Paying Companies" are technology firms. Other organizations on the list are also constantly seeking top IT talent and are clearly willing to pay for it. The tech companies featured here include an Emmy-award-winning streaming media powerhouse, a virtualization giant and a Web browser pioneer. Tech "salaries are high largely because of shortages of the highest skilled employees needed to advance business into new realms," according to Glassdoor's accompanying report. "Booming demand for software engineers, database administrators and data scientists has far outpaced the supply of these skilled, hard-to-find employees. With companies scrambling to poach these valuable workers from competitors, a bidding war has pushed tech salaries to unprecedented heights in recent years." Glassdoor based its list on compensation data collected from its site users, focusing on companies with at least 30 salary reports.

  • Overall tech employment is soaring, and the number of IT workers now exceeds that of the peak in 2000, according to recently released research from Janco Associates. Demand remains strong for tech talent across-the-board, especially for those skilled in computer systems design, data processing and hosting. Hiring managers are scrambling to fill tech positions, and, as a result, salaries are increasing for IT staffers, middle managers and executives at both large and midsize enterprises. "The recovery is well under way for IT pros and should continue for some time," says Victor Janulaitis, CEO of Janco Associates. "Hiring is up across the board, as many CIOs have been given the green light to start hiring, and many have open requisitions they cannot fill because of a lack of qualified candidates. … CIOs are now starting to look for lower and mid-level project leads and managers. This is definitely a signal that job prospects will continue to be positive for IT pros." The research is based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Janco Associates' salary survey, which included technology professionals representing more than 900 companies.