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Employers are treading lightly when it comes to adding new IT jobs, a trend
that will likely mean more volatility—with job numbers rising and falling—in
the months ahead.

That’s according to David Foote, CEO and
chief research officer at IT labor market analyst firm Foote Partners. Foote
made the assessment based on the numbers released last week by the U.S.
Department of Labor that showed the U.S.
economy gained 162,000 jobs in March as the unemployment rate remained
unchanged at 9.7 percent.

Looking more closely at the numbers, Foote said there was a net increase of
22,300 jobs in IT-related job segments over the past six months.

"My sense—and I say this not just from looking at federal job data but
from our own research views and executive interviewing involving 2,000
employers who are our research partner—is that we’re in a ‘three steps forward,
one step back’ pattern,” Foote said in a statement.

“It’s clear that the bleeding stopped in October and many employers are once
again acquiring needed skills and making selective IT hires. They are doing so
very deliberately, and purchasing services where they once might have added
full time staff,” Foote added.

"This volatility, with employment numbers rising and falling month to
month by segment but gaining overall, will continue at least through the end of
the year and probably into the next," he said.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said Friday that the numbers showed
continued growth in the temporary help services sector, and that the
manufacturing sector has also seen modest job growth over the last three
months.

Solis pointed out the tax breaks offered to businesses that hire new workers
through the recently passed HIRE (Hiring
Incentives to Restore Employment) act.