August 5, 2011, 5:13 PM

More I.T. jobs, same pay

New I.T. employment reports show a 2% rise in jobs amid flat wages.

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The good news in the information technology employment market is that the United States added 18,100 jobs from May through July, for a year-over-year rise of 2.1% over the same period of 2010, according to Janco Associates Inc., a management consulting firm that focuses on information technology. For the past 12 months, the number of I.T. jobs rose by 58,300, also a year-over-year increase of 2.1%.

The bad news is that the I.T. jobs market is sending mixed messages, experts say. “The job picture continues to be mixed for technology professionals,” says Victor Janulaitis, CEO of Janco. “The data shows that telecommunications is still a depressed market with a loss of 28,400 jobs since July 2010. At the same time, there has been a compensating increase of 71,000 jobs in the computer systems design and related services sector. It is not clear as of yet that the recovery has taken hold—but the trend is in the right direction.”

Data on I.T. wages, meanwhile, shows that pay remained slack in the second quarter. The average hourly wage for temporary technology workers finished the second quarter virtually unchanged since the first quarter, ending June at $30.99, up only one cent from $30.98 in March, according to the Yoh Index of Technology Wages.

Compared to a year ago, the index showed that wages dropped 1.4% to $30.99 in June from $31.43 in June 2010. The June drop, however, showed that the year-over-year fall in wages had slowed from prior months; in May, average wages fell 2.6% year over year to $30.98 from $31.81; in April, they fell 3.3% year over year to $30.83 from $31.88.

“There could be a few reasons for this stagnation of wages and demand, revolving mostly around the uncertainty around the slow-moving and still-fragile economy,” says Yoh analyst Joel Capperella. “The anxiety over the potential downgrade of the U.S. credit rating, fears of a double-dip recession, and the deceleration of GDP growth have all played a role."

Capperella adds that consumers are expected to increase spending, which along with eventual increased spending by business will increase demand for highly skilled technology workers.

Here are Janco’s I.T. employment figures, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and broken down into four sectors, with seasonally adjusted July 2011 jobs in each category in thousands followed by percentage change from July 2010:

• Telecommunications: 865.7, -3.2%

• Data processing, hosting and related services: 239.3, -0.9%

• Other information services: 160.4, 12.6%

• Computer systems design and related services: 1512.7, 4.9%

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