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Although confidence levels regarding the economy among information technology workers slightly dropped by one point to 55.8 during the fourth quarter of 2012, this figure remains high, according to the IT Employee Confidence Index.   “Technology workers remain one of the most confident when it comes to job availability, the future strength of the economy and their current employer,” says Bob Dickey, executive vice president of technologies at Randstad U.S. “For instance, we are seeing great demand for emerging technologies within the third platform, which includes cloud computing, social technologies, big data analytics and mobility. These positions require niche skills and cutting-edge technology experience. Another high-growth area that we are seeing within the technology industry is software developers, especially candidates proficient in the main programming languages, such as Java and .Net.   “The occupation has produced the most jobs post-recession, adding 70,872 jobs since 2010. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 30 percent increase in the number of software developers by 2020. However, we did find declining confidence in their ability to find a new job, which may reflect the growing competitiveness within the technology sector. Even amid a shortage of IT workers to fill available jobs, employers are seeking a unique combination of soft and hard skills and experience in particularly high-demand industries.”   Thirty-four percent of respondents say the economy is strengthening, an increase of one percentage point, while 35 percent of respondents say the economy is weaker. Another 29 percent of respondents say there are more open jobs, up from 27 percent in the third quarter of 2012. Meanwhile, 46 percent of respondents say fewer jobs are available.    However, fewer respondents feel confident that they could find new jobs. In fact, this figure fell 11 percentage points to 44 percent from 55 percent. Still, 74 percent of respondents say they are not likely to lose their jobs in the next year, marking a five percentage point gain. Only 12 percent of respondents say they are likely to lose their jobs in the next year. Another 33 percent of respondents say they are likely to look for new employment in the next year, down from 34 percent.

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