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As unemployment rates hold steady, job seekers in the technology industry are finding that prospects still glimmer, particularly  for those willing to take less traditional working arrangements and those with skills particularly pertaining to social media and cloud-based technologies.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its labor statistics for July, showing that within the private sector the unemployment rate remained stable with most workers. Though the BLS reported a loss of 131,000 jobs in July, it said that most of those declines were due to the release of temporary census employees who had completed their work on the decennial population survey.

Even as overall job growth indicators remain flat, the IT market specifically is seeing some encouraging signs. According to the IT job search company, the number of resumes viewed lately is up by 50 percent year over year. And IT staffing experts at Technisource reported recently that their regular survey of confidence among workers reached its high-water mark for the last 12 months in July.

“The marked increase in confidence this quarter tells us that technology workers may be in a more solid position for the economic recovery compared to other industries,” said Michael Winwood, president of Technisource. “During the recession many companies had to initiate hiring freezes, postpone new technology implementations and simply ‘do more with less.’ As the recovery lumbers forward slowly, we are seeing technology deployments in new areas that provide increased performance, such as VoIP and Windows 7. With these long-needed new deployments, companies are also making new investments in staff — many looking to contingent staffing as a more strategic approach to the recovery at
this point.”

Those workers in the upper echelon of the tech industry–CIOs, vice presidents, directors and the like–are finding that opportunities are still out there. ExecuNet’s Executive Job Creation Index (EJCI) showed that more companies were expected to add executive talent than shed executive jobs through the next six months, with expanding companies outpacing those aiming to eliminate management roles by 15 percent.

Employment experts say that a lot of the job opportunities in technology and elsewhere are within the ‘hidden’ job market–through quiet hiring processes and the acquisition of talent via contractors.

“As job creation continues at a slow and steady pace, the real story is in the amount of quiet hiring going on,” said Mark Anderson,  ExecuNet president and chief economist.  “The hidden job market is growing. Half of the company hiring reflected in the survey is to replace or upgrade existing roles to fit new corporate growth strategies and talent needs.”   

Tom Silver, senior vice president of North America for Dice, certainly agrees, pointing to what he calls the ‘under-the-radar’ job market. He believes that technology professionals need to be prepared with more than just a resume to take advantage of the trend.

"It’s hard to present a full view of career achievements on a static document particularly in tech. Let’s face it – if tech was a state – there is no doubt it would be Missouri. It’s the "show me" state in the united states of corporate departments," he said. "This is where leveraging the social web–i.e. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs or personal web pages–can help to illustrate a tech professional’s tangible work."

Additionally, technology professionals desperate for work may have better luck if they shuck their preconceptions about full-time office employment and consider a less traditional arrangement.

“Frustrated by the traditional on-site staffing model, businesses are embracing virtual and hybrid work structures which allow them to tap into highly skilled online teams on a flexible basis," Ellen Pack, Vice President of Marketing at Elance said.   

"Talented workers with hot skills such as Google App Engine development, HTML5, SEO and Social Media Marketing are experiencing unprecedented demand for their expertise and can find steady work and growing incomes.”