War takes its toll on hi-tech jobs: 12% drop since June

Since the conflict started four weeks ago, fewer-than-expected companies have reported that the attacks on the country have affected their operations.

By AVI KRAWITZ
August 8, 2006 09:02
2 minute read.
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There were significantly fewer jobs available for hi-tech workers in July as the effects of the war in the North hit the sector despite industry claims that production has not been affected by the conflict. Manpower Israel said Monday that it counted 2,589 hi-tech positions advertised in the country's newspapers in July, representing a drop of 12.6 percent from the June figure of 2,961. Compared to July 2005, the demand for workers dropped by 13.5%. "The July 2006 statistics represent a sharp decline in the demand for hi-tech workers after a period of growth in the industry's job market, a trend characteristic of the sector in the last year" said Idit Padan, CEO of MIT. "The drop is related to the general influence the war in the North is having on the economy and the activity in the general market." Manpower noted, however, that the growth rate in job demands in the hi-tech industry had shown signs of weakening in the preceding months and, therefore, the war was not the only phenomenon bringing about the decline. "It certainly was a strong contributing factor though," the company said. Since the conflict started four weeks ago, fewer-than-expected companies have reported that the attacks on the country have affected their operations. Most, including corporations such as Intel, HP and AudioCodes, have insisted that their productions have remained unscathed by the war. Given Imaging was the first to say last month that it has shifted inventory of its Pillcam capsule endoscopes from its headquarters in Yokneam to the US and Europe in light of the situation. And, last week, Motorola stated in a filing in the US that its manufacturing operations and engineering resources in Israel could be disrupted as a result of the hostilities in the region. A spokesman for Motorola Israel, however. said the statement was part of a regulatory requirement that the company must disclose any external threats to its business and that its operations were continuing as usual for now. Meanwhile, in its monthly survey on the job placement ads, MIT reported that only the demand for managerial positions did not decline and remained constant from June to July, while project contracts showed the biggest drop of 31%. Programmers again had the most of jobs on offer dropping with 1,099 placements made, some 6.9% down from June. So far this year there have been 21,287 hi-tech positions advertised, representing a growth of 12.4% over the parallel January to July period in 2005.

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