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IT workers reported confidence in the job market, job availability and the economy at the end of 2006, according to a report released Jan. 22 by staffing and recruitment firm, Spherion.

The survey’s results suggest that a lot of technology professionals will be jumping ship this quarter. Nearly half of IT workers (46 percent) reported that they are likely to look for a job in the next 12 months, up six percentage points since the third quarter of 2006.

In addition, the number of workers reporting that they believe more jobs are available than were previously also jumped 6 percent at the end of 2006.

No respondents felt that they were likely to lose their jobs this quarter, according to the surveys results, nor were any concerned about the future of their employers.

Confidence in the job market may reflect an improved impression of the economy at large, with nearly one-third (32 percent) of IT workers reporting that they believed the economy was getting stronger in Q4 2006, up 13 percent from Q3 2006.

IT workers were more confident than the U.S. workforce at large in the economy (32 versus 25 percent) as well as in their likelihood to job hunt this quarter (46 versus 36 percent).

Click here to read about how layoff numbers were low in 2006.

Some see an advance in tech professional confidence as related to the near-constant need for more workers with project management and application development skills.

“The confluence of a low unemployment rate and continued growth in the technology sector has increased the number of employment prospects for IT professionals,” said Brendan Courtney, senior vice president of Spherion, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“In particular, we are seeing an increase in demand for IT professionals with strong project management and application development skills and expect that trend to continue throughout the year.”

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