Employers across North Carolina are playing Scrooge when it comes to hiring information technology workers these days.

High-tech job openings across North Carolina fell again in November, continuing what has turned into a downright plunge in advertised positions since March, says the latest IT Job Trends report from the North Carolina Technology Association.

Just as SkillProof warned back in July, high-tech job openings peaked early this year – long before any talk about a “fiscal cliff” or any other political garbage coming out of Washington.

The downward trend in openings stretched to five consecutive months, based on the latest report that was issued Friday.

Openings fell to 3,550, a 3.8 percent drop from October.

But that one-month drop isn’t the only indicator of just how bad the job market is getting.

A year ago, employers were looking for 3,890 employees.

In 2010, the number was 4,010.

Yet the IT job market really is an enigma. As a recent event put on by the Business and Innovation Growth Council in Charlotte documented, many firms can’t find qualified workers.

For job seekers, the good news remains that unemployment in the tech sector remains far below that for other sectors.

“While the IT job market in North Carolina is still contracting, it remains relatively strong,” NCTA said in the new report.

But the numbers aren’t convincing.

In only three general categories was job demand up from last year:

  • IT management, 560 vs. 540
  • Hardware engineering, 190 vs. 130
  • Systems administration, 180 vs. 110.

In terms of specific skills, openings increased in a mere two areas:

  • Virtualization, up to 280 from 260
  • CCIE , up to 220 from 200

 Unfortunately, the conclusion for IT workers hoping to land jobs to start the New year the outlook is as bleak as it is that sanity will return to the nation’s capital.