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

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – The number of high-tech job openings across North Carolina fell for the second consecutive month in May.

According to the North Carolina IT Job Trends report issued Wednesday by the N.C. Technology Association, the daily average of IT job openings fell to 4,390 last month, a 5 percent drop.

In April, the daily average was 4,620, a 4.5 percent decline. That’s the lowest number since January.

In March, openings hit a seven-month high of 4,840.

“The technology job market is slowing down,” NCTA reported.

Still, the drop last month was higher than the 3,270 advertised openings in May of 2010 and 1,250 in May 2009.

Plus, demand for some specific skill sets increased sharply:

  • SQL openings soared to 670 from 530
  • Windows OS positions surged to 630 from 450
  • Unix climbed to 530 from 430
  • C++ and V++ soared to 440 from 320
  • Linux openings increased to 440 from 310
  • And Perl jumped to 290 from 130

(Read more about specific skill set demand here.)

(Read more about general demand by tech category here.)

The job trends report is based on data gathered by TEK Systems and SkillPROOF.

Nationwide, data shows that IT job openings did increase slightly by 0.7 percent.

However, as summer nears, the hiring picture may worsen.

“Looking forward, the job market may level off during the summer with potentially more opportunities in the fall,” NCTA reported. “It depends whether the cost of energy will continue to decline which will allow shoppers in the US to spend more money on things that create jobs.”

Job skills most in demand in May were systems engineering/support and IT management.

Specific skill sets needed most were SQL, Oracle Database Management, Windows OS, Java and business analytics.

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