One In 50 New U.S. Jobs Comes From I.T. Services - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications

One In 50 New U.S. Jobs Comes From I.T. Services

Technology-services firms are on a hiring binge of sorts. In the past year, companies offering computer-system design and related services added nearly 49,000 positions. One in every 50 U.S. jobs created this past year was in IT services.

Companies engage IT-services firms for a number of reasons. As business improves, companies need quick expertise to exploit existing IT infrastructures and deploy new technologies such as wireless and radio-frequency identification systems. In addition, employers turn to services firms as a precursor to hiring full-time staffers as they wait for indications that the stronger economy will sustain itself.

Employment at IT-services companies rose 4.4% to more than 1.7 million in February, up from 1.1 million a year earlier, according to the latest employment report issued by the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. To put those numbers in perspective, all nonfarm jobs increased a modest 1.8%, or 2.377 million, year over year to 132.8 million. All figures are seasonally adjusted; last month's stats are preliminary.

IT services is part of an industrial subcategory the bureau defines as professional and technical services, which includes accounting, architectural, engineering, legal, and management services. Altogether, the services industry experienced a 3.3% job growth this past year.

Not all IT sectors performed as well as computer-system design and related services. Computer- and peripheral-equipment makers saw their jobs slip by 1.2% to 211,400 in February. But the industry category that includes software vendors, information-service providers, and search portals had a 1.2% employment rise to 391,600.

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