The high-tech jobs sector in North Carolina continues to tighten.

Job openings fell by nearly a third in November from the previous month to just over 2,000, according to the latest “IT Jobs Survey” from the and , a national IT talent management and recruiting firm.

With 2,010 openings, the total is just over half the jobs available a year ago (3,910) and far fewer than those posted in November 2006 (4,450).

In October of this year, employers posted 2,960 jobs.

The percentage drop in vacancies of nearly 30 percent from October was almost double the nationwide decrease of 15.6 percent.

The news isn’t expected to get better any time soon.

“It is expected that the situation will not improve in December,” the report said. “Job-seeker[s] will have to wait until [the first quarter of 2009], when employers will begin to post their new vacancies.”

North Carolina’s overall jobless rate stands at 7 percent.

The only three of the top 15 IT “need skills” categories to show increased demand over November 2007 were: Web services (120, up from 110), SAP (110, up from 80), and object-oriented (OO) analysis, design programming (also 110, up from 80).

Demand for software developers fell the most at 17.3 percent.

The number of job openings by category in November compared with a year ago were :

  • Systems engineer/support: 640 (1,150)
  • Software development: 430 (710)
  • IT architects/consultants: 250 (550)
  • IT management: 190 (570)
  • IT sales and marketing: 180 (290)
  • Systems administrators: 160 (220)
  • Business/process design: 60 (80)
  • Training/technical writing: 30 (50)
  • Hardware engineering: 10 (180)

Demand in November was strongest for SQL programmers, at 340, followed by Windows OS at 310. But even those were far fewer than a year earlier, when the numbers were 730 for SQL and 620 for Windows OS.

Hurt worst, however, was the demand for Unix programmers. Openings plunged to 230 from 680 a year ago.