IT employment inches upward in services segments

The U.S. added 13,700 jobs in the Technical Services segment in August

When the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment figures last week, there was little to cheer about. The number of unemployed persons (14 million) was essentially unchanged in August, and the unemployment rate held steady at 9.1%, where it has hovered since April.

In addition, the information industry lost 48,000 workers in August, the majority (45,000) due to the Verizon strike

David Foote, however, highlighted the addition of 13,700 jobs in the Technical Services segment. It's the largest monthly increase since April 2011, Foote notes in his analysis of the national labor trends.

Specifically, 6,000 new jobs were added in Management and Technical Consulting Services and another 7,700 jobs were added in Computer Systems Design and Related Services (2,200 more than in July) for a total of 122,700 new jobs added in these employment segments over the past twelve months.

According to Foote, who is CEO at IT analyst firm Foote Partners, growth in these IT-related employment segments indicates a continuing shift from traditional infrastructure-type IT hiring to more outsourcing.

"At this point I don't think anyone should be surprised that skills acquisition, not recruiting full time people, has been the bigger focus in the past few years for employers managing pure-play IT resources. Much of this acquisition has been accomplished by farming work out to consultants and contractors, to part time employees, offshore vendors, and to managed services and cloud computing suppliers," Foote said in a statement. "As a result the revenue growth numbers in the services industries have been strong and the forecasts for continued expansion equally robust."

Janco Associates, meanwhile, says it's beginning to see "significant softening" in hiring, particularly since the stock market losses last month.

"We do see a downturn in hiring of IT professionals," Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis told Computerworld's Patrick Thibodeau. "Most companies are very unsure about what's going to happen."

Janco's analysis of the government's employment data finds that IT employment has only risen .5% in the last 12 months (including the loss of telecommunications jobs in August).

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