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7/6/2010
12:33 PM
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IT Job Market To Remain Volatile

Foote Partners says hiring will stay unpredictable, in spite of the 9,100 IT jobs added in June.

The IT jobs market is likely to remain fickle and unpredictable in the coming months, based on the latest U.S. Department of Labor statistics, which indicate the IT employment picture could be impacted by a double dip in the current recession.

That, at any rate, is one conclusion reached by IT market research firm Foote Partners after an analysis of Labor Department statistics. Foote Partners released its analysis over the weekend.

Citing widespread "economic pessimism" in the economy, David Foote said "it is certain (that) volatility will persist, thwarting any positive momentum that might show up from time to time." Foote predicted the volatility is likely to persist in spite of the fact that Friday's Labor Department statistics revealed there was a net gain of 9,100 IT-related jobs in June.

Foote, who is the firm's CEO and chief research officer, indicated the employment market has entered a period of "see-sawing" in which overall hiring of full-time IT employees will generally continue to be volatile, but hiring for some specific skill sets will be strong.

"Market volatility will be the new standard in market behavior for years -- not months -- to come," he said in his analysis of the Labor Department stats. "We will never return to the sort of labor marketplace for IT professionals that existed before 2008. And that's a good thing. Business leaders know that it's not technology per se but the ability to use it wisely that counts."

Foote said "hot" IT areas include enterprise resource planning, virtualization, security, storage-attached networks, business process management, Web platforms, and a few individual application development areas.

Foote Partners' database of more than 2,000 organizations is revealing a 30 to 40% volatility of premium pay for certified and noncertified IT skills versus the research base's traditional 14 to 19% volatility.

"Judging by both our skills demand and the last several months of government jobs numbers," said Foote, business leaders are "going to have to be patient."

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