The information technology job market in North Carolina may have reached bottom.

After six consecutive months of decline as the world economy slowed, the number of IT openings in N.C. increased slightly in March, according to the latest IT Job trends report from the North Carolina Technology Association and talent recruiting firm SkillProof.

However, the report’s authors noted that

The number of IT openings increased to 1,120 from 1,060 in February, a 5.7 percent improvement. Leading the increase were demands for software developers, up 12.5 percent, and system administration, 7.1 percent.

Leading the way was the IT job market in the Triangle where job openings jumped 41 percent. But in Charlotte, demand fell 21 percent.

Nationally, IT job openings dropped 1.4 percent.

“While this is good news, the overall situation in the job market has not really improved yet,” the report concluded. “It may be so that the job market has bottomed out but employers are unlikely to make more jobs available unless the economy improves.

“We believe,” the authors added, “that demand for IT labor will not rise significantly this year reflecting the continuing uncertainty.”

Referring to Raleigh, the report noted that the March improvement “may be temporary.”

How bad has the job market become?

In March 2008, job openings were much more plentiful – 4,310. In March 2007, some 6,000 positions were available, the report said.

The top 15 categories for job openings:

• Systems engineer/support: 400

• Software development: 180

• Systems administration: 150

• IT management: 90

• IT sales and marketing: 80

• IT architects/consultants: 80

• Business/process design: 70

• Training/tech writing: 20

• Hardware engineering: 10

• Misc. categories: 50

The top 15 needed skills:

• Windows OS: 200

• SQL: 170

• Oracle DBMS: 130

• Unix: 110

• Windows NT/2000/2003 Server: 110

• C++/VC++: 100

• Business Analysis: 100

• Java: 90

• Microsoft SQL Server: 80

• Linux: 80

• HTML: 60

• SAP: 50

• XML: 50

• Websphere (IBM): 50

• Perl: 40