2005 marked a return to IT staffing levels not seen since the dot.com implosion in 2001, according to a new report from the National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses.NACCB, a trade association for IT staffing firms, publishes an IT Employment Index that's based on studies of the ongoing staffing patterns of a dozen IT and computer-related occupations in 15 industries. The index shows that in 2005, U.S. IT employment reached 3,527,700. That's a few hundred higher than in 2001, when IT employment stood at 3,527,100. The low point in that span came in 2002, when IT employment dipped to 3,339,500."In light of the downward pressure on IT employment following Y2K, the bursting of the tech bubble, the 9\/11 terrorist attacks and the 2001 recession, I am heartened by the 2005 employment figures evidencing strong employment growth in IT," NACCB CEO Mark Roberts says.Roberts says all signs point to continued growth in 2006. When demand increases after a downturn, many companies first turn to IT staffing firms to meet project needs.