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IT employment continues to gain

Many of the 96,000 jobs added in the U.S. last month were IT related, say labor analysts

WASHINGTON -- IT employment increased last month, and there may be signs in the latest data of high demand for some specific IT occupations.

Groups that study U.S. Labor Dept. jobs data mix and match labor categories and arrive at different numbers, but they do agree on the trend: IT is hiring.

TechServe Alliance, an industry group, reported a gain of 5,100 IT jobs in August over the previous month, bringing overall IT employment to almost 4.2 million.

"While the month over month rate of growth is not quite as robust as it was earlier in the year, IT employment overall remains strong," said Mark Roberts, the CEO of TechServe.

Janco Associates, a research and consulting firm, counted a gain of 12,400 IT jobs last month, or nearly 13% the 96,000 jobs the Labor Dept. says were added overall in the U.S. in August.

In its report, TechServe alliance included unpublished Labor unemployment data for some specific job categories.

For instance, between the first to second quarter of this year, the unemployment rate of computer hardware engineers went from 4.4% to 0.5%. For software developers, the unemployment rate shrank from 3.6% to 2.5% over the same period.

However, for computer support specialists, the unemployment rate over the two quarters rose from 7.1% to 8.2%.

Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe, said the category for specific labor data has to viewed with caution because of the sample size, "but it definitely shows a tightening supply."

Janco conducts ongoing surveys of CIOs to assess their hiring goals, and Victor Janulaitis, CEO of Janco, said that many CIOs are cautious "but feel that overall hiring will improve significantly in 2013 and are initially budgeting accordingly."

Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov, or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is pthibodeau@computerworld.com.

Read more about it careers in Computerworld's IT Careers Topic Center.


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