Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of WRAL.com.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Information technology professionals seeking work, rejoice.

There’s some good news for a change on the jobs front.

IT openings in North Carolina surged 23.8 percent in November to 1,770 from 1,440 in October. That’s the biggest one-month gain recorded by , a talent management firm, since it began tracking jobs in 2004.

And, SkillPROOF notes in its latest report released in partnership with the “This development is even more positive since employees tend to close job openings around this time of year instead of looking for more staff.”

Hottest in demand are software development people. That category’s openings soared nearly 41 percent from October.

However, before we get too giddy we also need to bear in mind that demand is increasing from extremely low levels.

A year ago, for example, there were 2,010 IT job openings. In November 2007, openings reached nearly 4,000.

Still, some good news is welcome. Back in February and March, openings barely reached above 1,000.

“All local metro areas saw more job openings in November,” SkillPROOF added.

“Demand for IT workers in Virginia and South Carolina grew as well.”

Job demand by categories with November 2008 openings in parenthesis:

  • Systems engineering/support: 530 (540)
  • Software development: 380 (430)
  • IT architects/consultants: 280 (250)
  • IT management: 190 (190)
  • IT sales and marketing: 110 (180)
  • Systems administration: 80 (160)
  • Hardware engineering: 60 (10)
  • Business/process design: 40 (60)
  • Training/Tech writing: 30 (30)
  • Misc.: 80 (60)

Job demand by specific skill with November 2008 demand in parenthesis:

  • SQL: 260 (390)
  • Windows OS: 250 (360)
  • Java: 220 (270)
  • Oracle DBMS: 210 (320)
  • C++/VC++: 170 (260)
  • Unix: 170 (270)
  • Linux: 140 (180)
  • Large system technologies: 130 (110)
  • Microsoft SQL Server: 90 (130)
  • SAP: 80 (130)
  • C#: 80 (110)
  • XML: 80 (200)
  • Perl: 80 (80)

Good luck, job hunters.

Get the latest news alerts: at Twitter.