IT workers' outlook on the economy and their personal employment situation improved last quarter, according to the results of a recent study by IT staffing firm Spherion. Interestingly, the general U.S. workforce was more confident overall than this particular profession, however.Spherion compares IT workers attitudes about their employment outlook with that of U.S. workers in general. Its IT Employee Confidence Index rose 4.4 points to 56.8 for November to January. The U.S. index increased 3.5 points to 59.1 for the same period.One area where IT workers have the lead is in the desire to look for new employment. A full 42% say they are likely to conduct a job search in 2006, as compared to 37% of the U.S. workforce who report this intention. Brendan Courtney, vice president of Spherion Professional Services, says IT prospects look optimistic, adding that the shifting job market is becoming more "candidate-driven and retention is being placed on the front burner."Spherion's study also includes the IT Macroeconomic Confidence Index, which is derived by respondents' confidence in job availability and strength of the economy. While still a tad lower than the U.S. index overall, at 42.5 compared to 44.3 for the general workforce, the index grew at a faster pace this quarter. One reason is IT workers' increased optimism regarding job availability and a strengthening economy.For more results, please go to Spherion's Web site.***If you're seeking a new IT job or have positions to fill, look no further than Network World's new IT job search engine powered by Indeed. You can check out this new feature at our Careers research center.