With employers in San Diego County posting the largest volume of job openings in three years, local labor market analysts say the most job-creating sector lately seems to be information technology.
High-tech firms are finding themselves in a dogfight for talent.
Especially in demand?
While executives in the IT field are leery of calling their sector of the labor market "recession-proof," it certainly appears to be resistant to the job-shedding that's gone on throughout the rest of the country.
"Even the small companies are able to leverage technology that used to be available only to much larger enterprises," says Chris Orlando, vice president of ScaleMatrix in Kearny Mesa.
Orlando says the available jobs are due to an increased demand in technology.
"I see that the customer base that we're able to target now is much larger than it was before," Orlando added in an interview Monday. "And I don't see that slowing down any time soon."
ScaleMatrix is in the market for people with advanced credentials to work in so-called “co-location” and “cloud data center” environments, where firms of all sizes can outsource IT functions.
"You'll see that the need for high-tech employees -- software engineers -- folks that are able to leverage those new technologies are going to be increasing at an exponential rate," Orlando said.
At an aggressive startup such as ScaleMatrix, expansion demands have boosted employment for other firms.
"We have AP Precision Metals; they just put on a second shift to keep up with our demand for (server) racks," says Bill Kraus, ScaleMatrix's chief operating officer.
"We have Brocade building all of our switches, and CA helping us on projects. So there are a lot of people being added to our team."
Another local high-tech firm that's in an ongoing hiring mode is ESET, which specializes in cybersecurity and anti-virus spyware/malware protection.
Nearly 200 work at ESET's North American headquarters downtown, and the firm has had as many as 17 job openings at one time in the last three years.
In the last two weeks alone, ten new employees have come onboard.
"We've had to move and look into Orange County and L.A.," says Celeste Blodgett, ESET's human relations director, “and we've brought people in from the East Coast and Texas and other parts of the United States -- finding that perfect candidate."
Blodgett says the global proliferation of computer viruses and cyber-hackers spells continued growth for ESET: "We're just going to need to keep on getting smarter than them ... that brainpower is absolutely essential."
Other local job sectors that have expanded over the past year are education and health services, leisure and hospitality, trade, transportation, and utilities and financial services.
On the down side, 1,700 jobs in the construction industry have disappeared in that time.