Q1 2016 Index Number


Contractor confidence takes slight dip

In the year since we launched the quarterly index, the overall confidence indicator has remained relatively steady, but we might be seeing the emergence of a trend. We started with a baseline of 100, and since then, we saw a drop to 97.3 for the quarter ended June 30, 2015, but then it bounced back to 101.9 in September 2015. December saw a drop of 100.5.

So, we have two quarters in a row where the sentiment dropped. We'll be following this closely in the next quarter.

When we asked people if they thought the market was headed in a positive or negative direction, 30.2 percent said positive, while 31.4 percent said negative. While not horrible, it is a dip from last quarter when 31.1 percent felt the market was headed in a positive direction and 29.8 percent had a negative view.

It's interesting to look at some of the written comments we received to this question. The election year and concerns about work slowing were cited by several.

"IT is an election year and large acquisitions are usually placed on hold," one wrote.

One commenter who had a positive view said they are seeing award timeliness improve and less low price, technically acceptable contracts.

In the charts below, you will see other views of the market. Most expect revenue to grow and hiring to increase. And a strong majority don't expect layoffs, but a quarter still do. Job satisfaction remains high.

We'll attribute the drop in the overall index to the coming election, and we'll see if confidence continues to erode as we move closer to the November elections.

Do you feel the market is headed in a positive or negative direction?

Do you expect your company's revenue to grow, shrink or stay the same over the next six months?

Do you expect your company's infrastructure investments to increase, decrease or stay the same?

Do you expect your company's hiring to increase or decrease in the next six months?

Do you expect your company to announce layoffs or other cost-cutting strategies in the next six months?

Are you happy/satisfied with your job?

Are you currently looking for a job?

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.