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IT employment accelerated in May, according to the National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses IT Employment Index, released June 5, just days after the Labor Department’s May 2006 employment numbers failed to meet expectations.

In May 2006, according to the NACCB, employment of IT workers increased 24,900 from the previous month to 3,653,200, up 5.6 percent from May 2005. On average, 16,250 jobs were added monthly during 2005.

The NACCB report also stated that strong IT demand is causing shortages in specific IT skills and geographic areas.

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Meanwhile, although nonfarm employment grew by 75,000 jobs, the unemployment rate fell slightly from 4.7 percent in April to 4.6 percent in May, and average hourly earnings grew, the Labor Department May 2006 employment numbers released June 2 offered somewhat worrying picture of the economy.

The number of new jobs created, 75,000, was the lowest since October 2005, almost 100,000 less than predicted, and significantly lower than in previous months. For example, employers added 126,000 new jobs in April 2006 and 175,000 in March 2006.

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Growth in hourly earnings also significantly declined from April, going from a growth of 10 cents per hour to a growth of 1 cent per hour.

The lukewarm May job report has led many to suspect that the Federal Reserve will not raise interest rates again, as had been originally anticipated at the next rate-setting meeting June 28.

The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates 16 times over the past two years in an effort to slow the economy’s rapid growth.

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