Leading all segments were gains in management and technical consulting services and computer systems design.
employment numbers released Jan. 7 by the Department of Labor's Bureau of
Statistics revealed a net gain of 9,600 in IT-related jobs in December,
representing the seventh straight month of positive job growth in IT labor
segments in federal employment data.
Five bellwether IT job segments in the BLS
data showed a net gain of 45,800 jobs in the last six months of 2010 and 26,000
jobs in October through December. Leading all segments were gains in management
and technical consulting services and computer systems design and related
services segments, which accounted for 89 percent and 85 percent, respectively,
of all new jobs created.
Jobs in the data processing, hosting and related services segment added 200
jobs in December, the worst performing segment in the month. Two job segments
in the computer and electronics products industry category added jobs:
communications equipment (+500 jobs) and computer and peripheral equipment
"The services industry has been on a steady roll since last March; in
fact, nearly 95 percent of all new IT-related jobs created since March-54,600
of 56,000 jobs according to federal job loss data-were recorded in the
management and technical consulting services and computer systems design and
related services segments," said David Foote, CEO
and chief research officer at IT analyst firm Foote Partners. "I don't
want to overemphasize CIOs' dependency on contractors, consultants and managed
services; indeed, they're also making key hires in many areas. But it's clear that
demand for full-time workers outside the services sector has yet to experience
the kind of momentum witnessed in services jobs."
Foote noted that what the federal government numbers hide are thousands of
IT jobs created in other areas of the enterprise that are not considered the
traditional IT workforce. "These people are working in business
lines, corporate departments, and in various enterprise strategic and operation
functions whose jobs require skills well beyond technology," he said. "We
believe there are an additional 16 to 20 million IT professionals in the
Department of Labor employment statistics on top of the 4 million technical,
back office and infrastructure workers who are identified by the government's
archaic definition of IT professionals."
Fourth-quarter 2010 volatility in skills and certifications values measured
29.1 percent, an increase of four points from the previous quarter. This
represented a return to high volatility rates in the first half of 2010 but
less than the record-setting 38.7 percent volatility during summer 2009.
Noncertified and certified skills volatility this period-34.7 percent and 23.1
percent, respectively-represents a return to elevated values earlier this year
following a brief decline in the third quarter.
"In our IT employment market analysis released last month, we noted
that volatility remains the dominant trend right now for IT skills as well as
jobs," Foote said. "We've been seeing 28 percent to 38 percent
volatility since early 2008 in our quarterly surveys of premium pay for
certified and noncertified skills, which is defined as the percent of the 466
skills we survey. Typical quarterly volatility falls in the 14 percent to 19