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6/8/2009
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Mixed Bag For IT Jobs

Report sees growth in some tech-related professions, losses in others.

Recent unemployment figures show mixed results for IT jobs, according to a recent analysis of the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Statistics.

Foote Partners, a company that analyzes the IT workforce, reported Friday that some segments of IT jobs have decreased while others have increased. The Department of Labor reported Friday that May's national unemployment rate reached 9.4%, with 345,000 jobs lost in May.

"Certainly some of those are technology professionals," David Foote, CEO of Foote Partners, said in a statement. "But it's important to note the continuing counter trending evident in bellwether IT job segments like technical consulting services, which actually added 2,300 jobs in April and May instead of the other way around."

Foote said that communications equipment jobs, which fall under the employment category computer and electronics products, experienced a net increase of 200 jobs over the last three months.

Tech workers in computer systems design and its related services segment lost 2,800 jobs last month, while data processing and hosting services lost 3,500 jobs.

"The latter category was substantially worse than April's loss of 900 jobs," Foote said. "But I think the more positive story is that the recession has had minimal impact on demand for IT skills and jobs in the areas such as architecture, project management, business process, security, communications, several ERP and infrastructure specializations."

Foote Partners IT Skills (PDF) Hot List for May 2009 predicts demand for IT skills in those areas.

"Clearly, job security is more about where you work in IT, not if you work in IT," Foote said. "But most important, IT remains one of the best career choices a person can make. Technology companies will most likely lead us out of this recession much like they did the last time. And businesses across all industries will once again see the obvious roles their IT professionals play in new product creation, delivering services, building market share, and customer satisfaction."

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on the current state of IT salaries. Download the report here (registration required).

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