Largest IT employment gains in four years reported

The nation's employment outlook for IT professionals has suddenly surged, gaining 18,200 jobs, the largest monthly increase since 2008, according to tech employment-research firm Foote Partners.

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In July, 4,900 new IT jobs were added in two job segments, telecommunications, and separately "data processing, hosting and related services," Foote Partners said today. Also added were 13,300 other jobs in sectors called "management and technical consulting services" and "computer systems design/related services." The firm says these last two categories, with a combined total of 242,000 jobs added in the past 24 months, have seen solid growth even in the midst of the nation's general economic malaise.

"The overall employment situation in the U.S. is lackluster, in fact this is the fifth consecutive month of subpar results," says David Foote, CEO at Foote Partners, which has been tracking IT labor trends since 1997. Today's findings are based on Foote's analysis of the July 2012 U.S. employment numbers from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. "But the fact that more than 18,000 new jobs were created last month for people with significant IT skills and experience and nearly 57,000 new jobs added in the past three months is incredibly good news."

While his remarks were upbeat, Foote also adds that not all IT workers are equally benefiting from the jobs expansion. "Many companies are looking for superstars and workers we refer to as 'walking Swiss Army knives' those with the right mix of technology, business and people skills to handle some very tough jobs." Foote says trends that matter include adoption of cloud computing, mobile platforms, and Big Data analytics, among other technologies.

Ellen Messmer is senior editor at Network World, an IDG publication and website, where she covers news and technology trends related to information security. Twitter: MessmerE. E-mail: emessmer@nww.com.

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