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IT worker confidence down

Confidence among IT workers plunged over 12 points from 109.9 to 97.5 in August. This is only the second time in its history that it fell below the base of 100. Sector employees rating their finances as excellent or good fell dramatically from 62 percent the previous month to 47 percent in August.

In addition, only 70 percent stated they were happy in their current jobs, compared to 75 percent in July. U.S. worker confidence fell 5.5 points, taking it to the lowest level on record as the national Hudson Employment Index dropped below the base of 100, also for only the second time ever, to 98.2.

After holding steady near 31 percent for nine consecutive months, the number of workers expecting hiring slipped to 30 percent. At the same time, the percent anticipating job cuts rose from 16 percent in July to 18 percent, which shows the same pattern from one year ago. Job security concerns also climbed a point to 21 percent this month, as the percent reporting job satisfaction slipped from 74 percent to 72 percent.

Investigo teams with Ameritrade

Minneapolis-based Investigo formalized an agreement with Ameritrade Advisor Services by which Ameritrade will offer Investigo’s Web-based data consolidation and reporting software to its 1,400-plus registered investment advisor clients.

Investigo’s Web-based platform automatically updates, consolidates and reconciles client data, and it provides a single portal for asset tracking, client management and regulatory compliance.

HotGigs teams with employment group

Minneapolis-based HotGigs.com, a contract talent provider, and the Indianapolis-based DirectEmployers Association, a non-profit consortium which runs the Internet’s only job board and employment Web site owned and managed by leading U.S. employers, have partnered to create a co-branded version of HotGigs’ contractor sourcing tool for users of Direct Employers’ job search engine at www.JobCentral.com.

HotGigs’ search engine lets hiring managers perform targeted searches on HotGigs’ growing pool of contract employees from more than 2,500 IT consulting and staffing firms and 11,000-plus independent contractors.

The HotGigs service at the JobCentral.com site also features an online research tool that helps managers compare the hourly billable rates for thousands of IT skills, enabling them to create an instant budget based on the resources that they plan to use.

Ceridian debuts retirement tool

Minneapolis-based Ceridian added a new interactive online retirement planning tool to its work-life and employee assistance program Web site, LifeWorks Online.

The retirement planning tool, available to employees of organizations that provide Ceridian EAP and work-life services as part of their employee benefit package, combines life planning and information about non-financial aspects of retirement, such as relocating, volunteering and lifelong learning, as well as financial education. This retirement planner is an online counterpart to the life planning counseling Ceridian already offers people calling in direct to LifeWorks.

New Boundaries releases Prism Suite

Minneapolis-based New Boundary Technologies, a provider of automated IT management and security solutions, release Prism Suite.

Prism Suite automates a wide variety of IT workflow processes, allowing administrators to create a self-healing computing environment. By leveraging Prism Suite’s rules-based architecture, administrators can assign configuration and remediation tasks such as removing unauthorized software, deploying software updates, and repairing installed software to be automatically performed based on results of inventory scans.

MPR parent invests in networking site

American Public Media Group (APMG), the parent company of Minnesota Public Radio, invested about $1 million in a social networking Web site.

Boston-based Gather.com, set to launch in December, is a nonprofit Web site designed to bring public-radio listeners together. The site will allow people to create their own home pages, where they can list their interests, keep a blog and communicate with other members.

Gather.com will generate revenue through advertising and will not charge for membership.

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