There's yet more evidence that the UK's IT sector could be on the mend.
The latest bulletin from UK industry group "e-skills" suggests that there is growing optimism among employers, something that is supported by an increased demand for skilled IT staff.
Here's a quotation from the report: "The state of the ICT sector remains unsettled, with positive changes in the stock market counterbalanced by a continuing decline in the trade balance for ICT services and reduced private sector spending on IT hardware and software.
"Businesses appear bullish however and appear positive about future sales and employment prospects."
It goes on: "There appears to be a gradual re-emergence of demand for contract ICT staff and skills shortages remain for those with specialist skills/experience."
E-skills has reached this assessment by pooling research from a whole host of different sources including the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and other market data. In effect, it's licking its finger and sticking it in the air to find out which way the wind's blowing.
For instance, e-skills also found that the number of people employed in ICT occupations increased by 21,000 over the previous quarter.
And while the unemployment rate for those normally working in ICT jobs stood at 4.8 per cent, the number of vacancies for contract ICT staff increased by 4 per cent over the previous quarter, it said.
In its last bulletin e-skills was "cautiously upbeat" about the future of the UK's ICT sector, adding that the indicators "appeared to show that the market has at least bottomed out". ®