There really *is* a shortage of trained programmers and other IT professionals. Though it would be a pleasant rumor to start if you're an IT professional and looking to raise your annual salary, that's simply not the case. While there is a huge increase in computer literate people, due to the increased number of households with PCs (and a couple with Macs), that doesn't mean these computer savvy individuals have the first clue about creating quality software. Enrollment in computer science and MIS programs is down from what it was in the late 1980's in nearly all universities, though it has recently begun to go up again.
I've done my time wading through mounds of resumes from unqualified applicants to professional programmer and other IT positions. Sometimes the companies I've worked for have had to lower certain expectations and remove requirements just to be able to find *somebody* they can hire. They still needed the person they couldn't find, but they had to make do with what they had available. This, BTW, is why the importance of an actual degree is waning, at least in the short term. There are more jobs than trained professionals, so applicants with insufficient training but that seem trainable are becoming more valuable.
Good help will always be hard to find, especially in the IT world. It's just harder to find at the moment than it has been in a long time.