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Local Tech Wire

RALEIGH, N.C. – Companies in North Carolina are hiring information technology workers at the highest level in more than a year.

Average daily IT job openings surged to 1,730 in February, according to the N.C. IT Job Trends report from the , and SkillProof is a talent management firm. TEKsystems provides technology staffing and services.

The total is the highest since December 2008 and represents a 33 percent jump from January of this year. The N.C. average also was far better than the national IT opening average for February, which increased 8.6 percent from January.

High tech, financial services and IT services firms are the sources for most demand, according to the report.

The hottest job demand categories:

• Systems engineering/support (590 openings)

• Software development (350 openings)

• IT architects/consultants (220 openings)

NCTA and its partners described the February numbers as an “extraordinary increase” and proclaimed that “IT job opportunities are returning!”

“The question is whether employers will begin to hire now or whether they are just taking a peak at the available labor pool,” the reported added.

“Right now,” the report advised, “job seekers should increase their efforts and apply for opportunities employers say they have.”

While the average daily opening is far higher than January through March of 2009, it is also far below of the 4,000-plus average in February and March 2008 before the recession began to deepen.

Brooks Raiford, chief executive officer at NCTA, said the report and accompanying data about IT employment statewide were positive signs for the tech sector.

“In addition to the TEKsystems’ workforce analysis showing growth in year-over-year employment in IT jobs across North Carolina, the February job trends report reflects the highest job availability since December 2008,” Raiford noted. “The upward trend that began in the fourth quarter of 2009 had slipped over the holidays, but seems to have moved strongly back to growth.”

According to TEKsystems analysis, IT employment in December reached 113,450, including 17,018 temporary workers. The overall number is 6.2 percent higher than December 2008.

Job openings by category in February (with February 2009 total in parenthesis):

• Systems engineering/support: 590 (390)

• Software development: 350 (160)

• IT architects/consultants: 220 (100)

• IT management: 210 (100)

• Systems administration: 150 (140)

• IT sales and marketing: 110 (80)

• Business/process design: 30 (40)

• Hardware engineering: 10 (10)

• Training/tech writing: 10 (20)

• Misc. categories: 60 (30)

The top 15 needed skills in February (with February 2009 in parenthesis):

• Java: 290 (110)

• Windows OS: 280 (230)

• Oracle DBMS: 240 (150)

• SQL: 240 (200)

• Linux: 220 (90)

• Unix: 220 (130)

• Business analysis: 190 (110)

• C++/V++: 180 (110)

• Microsoft SQL Server: 140 (100)

• Large system technologies: 140 (40)

• XML: 120 (60)

• Windows NT/2000/2003 server: 110 (130)

• Sun Solaris: 100 (40)

• Perl: 100 (50)

• HTML: 100 (70)