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

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – If you are looking for a job in information technology, the task of finding one is getting a lot harder.

The average daily number of advertised openings plunged last month by 10 percent to well under 4,000 and to a much smaller total than a year ago, according to data compiled by TEK Systems and SkillPROOF. Both companies are talent management and recruiting firms that compile the data used by NCTA.

A decline to 3,680 openings from 4,090 in June and the four straight month decline caught the report’s authors off guard.

“The negative development over the past four months is stronger than what we would expect for a typical summer season where demand tends to be lower,” the report said.

Especially hard hit was the demand for IT management jobs, which plunged more than 21 percent to fewer than 600.

In July 2010, 4,260 IT job openings were listed. But the openings last month were still much higher than the 1,130 reported in July 2009 in the midst of the recession.

The Job Trends authors say the decline could be an overreaction, however, and are hopeful more hiring will occur this fall.

“Compared to the current average development in order states the market … may be overreacting,” the authors said. “For this reason we believe the IY job market will stabilize for the fall season.”

Nationally, IT job openings increased for the third straight month, although not by much – less than 1 percent.

So what’s happening in the tech sector, which has been a leader in the so-far limited recovery from the recession?

“This lack of dynamic suggest that employers have assumed a general wait-and-see attitude, a potential result from the ongoing barrage of negative economic news with impact on consumption,” the report says.

Announced layoffs at tech giant Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), which has its largest operation outside of California in RTP, won’t help matters.

Read here for details about specific skill set demand.

Read here for details about demand by job category.

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