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IT workers happier about job market

Monthly measurement of techie optimism marks another slight hike, less worker worry.

Information technology workers' confidence in the job market--and in their ability to hold on to their jobs--rose again in August, a study found.

IT workers revealed less anxiety about becoming unemployed, according to the report, released by staffing firm Hudson on Wednesday. About 23 percent of IT workers said they were worried about losing their job "any time soon," down from roughly 26 percent in July. Seventeen percent of U.S. workers in general said they feared pink slips in the near future.

IT workers brightened slightly about their jobs in August. Just more than 70 percent said they're happy with their current jobs, up from about 68 percent in July.

The report comes amid conflicting signs about the job situation for technology professionals, who have been struggling to recover from major job cuts in recent years and who also face the threat of offshore outsourcing.

Unemployment rates have dropped for tech workers, but so have the numbers of people employed in tech occupations--suggesting that some workers may be leaving the field, possibly because they're discouraged. A separate study from staffing company Robert Half Technology recently found that chief information officers in the United States are still taking a measured approach to hiring.

Hudson on Wednesday said its "employment index" for IT workers rose to 115.9 in August, up from 112.1 in July and 108.1 in June. The employment index, calculated from survey questions that cover work and personal finance issues, is designed to measure U.S. workers' confidence in the employment market. It examines sectors such as IT, health care and manufacturing, and is based on surveys of about 9,000 U.S. workers. Hudson began the index less than a year ago, assigning a base number of 100 for its December 2003 survey.

Overall U.S. worker confidence also rose in August, according to Hudson, but the national employment index remained lower, at 108.9, than for IT workers.

Hudson said the survey had a margin of error of 1 percent.