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Even with several negative economic indicators nagging
workers worried about availability of jobs, new data from the Bureau of Labor
Statistics (BLS) released late last week and a survey out this week by online
employment site Dice show that technology professionals have been more isolated
than most from market woes.

According to BLS, unemployment only went down a hitch to 8.6
percent from 9.0 percent, while the number of workers who have given up looking
for jobs increased by 315,000 unemployed workers last month.  The number of long-term unemployed workers
without jobs for over 26 weeks continued to make up nearly half of those
unemployed today. But in the technology sector, there was some good news.

Though two of the IT-related sectors measured by BLS lost
jobs — Telecommunications and Data Processing, Hosting and Related Services —
two other IT segments saw notable growth. 
Combined, the Management and Technical Consulting Services and Computer
Systems Design and Related Services segments experienced a net gain of nearly
129,800 jobs in the last twelve months.

According to David Foote, CEO of IT analyst and employment
research firm Foote Partners, this tracks with his research.

"Among the 2,200 employers who participate as research
partners in our industry research, there’s no question that consulting firms
and systems integrators are benefitting from these employers’ purchases of
managed services and investments in cloud computing as an alternative to
acquiring technology skills in house,” Foote says.

IT recruitment firm Dice, which queried nearly 1,200 IT
hiring managers and recruiters recently about their plans for 2012, saw more
employment going inhouse. Released this week, the data showed that 65 percent
of employers will be seeking to hire technology professionals in the first half
of 2012. About a quarter of those report that they plan to expand staffs by
more than 20 percent during the same time period.

"The tech recruiting market is active, although the
pace of improvement has been impacted by broader economic concerns," said
Alice Hill, Managing Director of "Many companies are chasing
mid-career talent. The elevated economic uncertainty makes it tougher for
hiring managers to lure tech professionals into leaving their current

This is working to technologists’ benefit salary-wise as
many companies are luring new recruits from the safety blanket of their current
situations with higher pay. Dice found that 42 percent of hiring managers
predict that new-hire salaries will rise in 2012.