IT jobs market picks up, led by consultants and cloud pros

Jobs site sees increased confidence in the tech job market as its unemployment rate comes in at less than half the national rate

Things are still looking rosy when it comes to technology jobs as unemployment in the technology sector remains low, averaging 2.7 percent in the third quarter of 2014, according to a report Wednesday from jobs site and based on U.S. BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) data.

The overall national unemployment rate for September was 5.9 percent, according to the BLS.

But layoffs in the professional and business services sector, which includes technology workers, increased. "Preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics highlights that total layoffs and discharges rose sharply in July and August to 434,500 on average, which is above the 10-year-average (397,900) as well as for the same period last year (399,500)," Dice said. This sector, though, also lumps in workers in a variety of categories, ranging from legal services to accounting and architectural services, and no specific breakdown is available for each job title.

Still, the unemployment rate for technology professionals is lower than it was a year ago, when the rate was 3.9 percent. Last quarter, reported a rate of 3 percent.

And again, consulting is helping to drive the low rate. "So far this quarter, 11,900 jobs have been added in tech consulting, which marks a decline in new positions added from the previous quarter (22,100 jobs), but a significant turnaround from last year when 5,100 tech jobs were created during the same period," Dice said in its report.

Cloud professionals also fared well, according to Dice. "For professionals adapting to the cloud -- including network and systems administrators -- their unemployment rate has dropped to 1.8 percent, which remains below the average tech unemployment rate as well as the rate for professionals nationally (6.1 percent)."

Data processing, hosting, and related services picked up 5,600 new positions in the third quarter, after having added 2,100 positions in the previous quarter, and manufacturing of computer and electronics products saw its first gain in more than a year, adding 600 jobs.

Overall, Dice sees confidence in the job market. "In August, 449,000 professionals quit their positions, which is above the 10-year average of 413,600 and signals professionals remain confident in the market," the company noted. "Still, voluntary quits are ahead of last year for the first eight months of the year. Year-to-date, 472,000 professionals in tech consulting quit on average, compared to 408,000 through August last year."

In July and August, an average of 459,000 persons in the professional and businesses service sector on average quit their jobs in each month. "This is a slowdown from the 467,000 professionals who willingly left their jobs during the same period last year," Dice said.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.