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The overall unemployment rate is slowly inching downward, and an informal survey of solution providers shows that channel executives are quickly bolstering their staffs as customers gear-up to spend on long-delayed IT projects and invest in new technologies that will help their businesses save money, enhance productivity, or become more flexible.

Currently, the general unemployment rate stands at 8.5 percent, with the number of people applying for benefits in mid-December falling to 366,000, the fewest since May 2008, according to the Associated Press. Within IT, the unemployment rate for tech professionals is even better: In June, unemployment was 3.3 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And that number is only expected to drop further as companies scramble to tap into the benefits of virtualization and cloud computing, expand mobility, evolve social media programs, and revamp aging infrastructures, experts predict.

After all by 2015, 35 percent of enterprise IT expenditures for most organizations will be managed outside the IT department’s budget, Gartner predicts. Companies will spend more on mobile applications to support their ever-increasing fleet of smartphones and tablets; will demand proven, secure cloud partners, and require assistance to reap the most benefit from big data, according to some of Gartner’s year-end report: “Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users, 2012 and Beyond: Control Slips Away.”

That’s great news for skilled IT professionals who work—or want to work—at one of the many solution providers targeting these public- and private-sector clients.

“In the last 10 weeks we might have hired 20 new people and we’re looking for another 15 right now,” Bob Elfanbaum, general manager of Asynchrony Solutions told Channel Insider  in December 2011.

And Elfanbaum is far from alone.

Where the Jobs Are

In fact, solution providers across the country are hiring professionals in all disciplines, ranging from programmers and engineers to sales and marketing experts to bolster their existing staffs, executives said.

“Security is a very large draw for us. We’re seeing senior engineering type positions; there’s a big demand for those. People have put off spending money now they have to do their infrastructure and their virtualization projects and you’re not going to get a help desk person to run those,” said Todd Billar, director of channel development at VAR Staffing, a recruitment agency that works exclusively with the channel. “Virtualization and security are probably about the biggest we’re seeing. We’re also seeing quite a bit of development coming down the pipe too.”