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Information technology unemployment dips below 4%; skills hunt escalates: survey

Demand is especially hot across all regions for IT professionals skilled in Java, .NET and mobile.
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Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributor on

In what is good news for IT professionals and bad news for employers, the latest monthly survey out of Dice.com finds competition for technology talent escalating drastically.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that tech unemployment rate at 3.8% as of May 2011, well below the national average of 9.1%.

Dice's survey of nearly 900 hiring managers and recruiters that source, recruit and hire IT professionals, 65% anticipate hiring more technology professionals in the second half of 2011 than the preceding six months. Available positions are going unfilled a lot longer as well:

"The growth has reached a level where positions are staying open for months due to a shortage of qualified technology professionals. Of those respondents who report the time to fill a position is lengthening, 63% attribute talent shortages as the primary reason which compares to just 46% who felt that way six months ago."

Regions feeling the IT talent pinch the most: not Silicon valley yet, but the East and Midwest. About two-thirds of respondents from those areas are hiring IT professionals from outside their local talent pool to try and satisfy demand, Dice says.

Java is the skill most in demand across all regions of the country, Dice reports, followed by mobile technologies and .NET.  Here are some of the regional differences in demand Dice found:

East Midwest Northeast West
Java Java Java Java
Mobile .NET Mobile .NET
SAP Mobile .NET Mobile
.NET Sharepoint SAP Ruby on Rails
Security clearance SAP Web developers Database Administrators
Source: Dice

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