Despite a general downturn in the U.S. job market, employers hired IT staff  at a record pace in August, according to the National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses, an Alexandria Va.-based trade group.

IT employment grew by 17,000 jobs last month, the group reported this week.
Total IT employment currently stands at 3.936 million, up by 240,000 in the past year, an annual increase of 6.5 percent, the report said. 

By contrast, the U.S. unemployment rate  has grown by 1.4 percent over the last 12 months to over six percent.

"While IT has not been immune to the slowing economic environment, it appears that a number of companies in IT and IT employment continue to outperform the general economy," Mark Roberts, the group's CEO, said in a statement.