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Computer services jobs keep rising

Almost 10,000 jobs in systems design were added in November, but not all Labor Department data add to holiday cheer.

More good tidings for computer services workers; more glum ones for those in hardware manufacturing.

That's the essence of the U.S. Department of Labor's report on the employment situation in November, as it relates to information technology workers. The report, released Friday, said the number of payroll jobs in the area of computer systems design and related services rose by 9,900 during the month, to 1.15 million.

Overall, the economy added 112,000 payroll jobs in November, to 132.1 million. Roughly 150,000 new payroll jobs per month are considered necessary to keep up with the growth of the labor force in the United States. The nation's unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.4 percent, the Labor Department said.

Mixed news has emerged recently about the job market for information technology professionals, who weathered massive job cuts earlier this decade and face the threat of offshoring--the transfer of high-skilled jobs to lower-wage nations, such as India. Online ads for tech jobs have increased, IT services companies have been hiring, and analysts are warning companies to take steps to retain prized workers as the job market tightens.

But not all the news over tech jobs adds to holiday cheer. The number of payroll jobs in computer and electronics product manufacturing dropped by 3,800, to 1.34 million. That figure has been dropping since August. In addition, the number of management and technical consulting services positions fell by 2,300, to 794,100.

Technology workers' confidence in the job market fell in November, according to a study released Wednesday. Despite worker pessimism of late, jobs in computer systems design and related services have been rising since April and are up by 48,400 since last November.