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IT Jobs Up, Skilled Immigrants Act Stalls

A U.S. government report showing that hiring is up had some good news for IT workers: The tech industry added about 7,100 jobs in November, an increase of 0.17% from the previous month.

At the same time, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) moved to block legislation that would eliminate per-country caps on employer- sponsored green cards.

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data analyzed by the industry group TechServe Alliance, the overall employment number for the tech industry reached almost 4.068 million last month, representing a year-over-year gain of 2.1%. The total is close to the all-time high of 4.088 million reached in June 2008, according to TechServe.

IT pay might be seeing gains as well, though the data supporting that is more anecdotal.

The TechServe Alliance total considers only high-tech industry workers; it might not account for someone working in IT at, say, a food manufacturer.

Mark Roberts, CEO of the alliance, said his member firms are seeing strong IT demand. "I remain very bullish going into 2012," he said.

Meanwhile, Grassley said he is blocking Senate action on the so-called Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act because "it does nothing to better protect Americans." The bill had sailed through the U.S. House in late November on a 389-15 vote.

Grassley didn't say what changes he's seeking, but he placed the bill on hold, putting it into a procedural limbo that could sink it.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

Read more about management and careers in Computerworld's Management and Careers Topic Center.

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