Compiled ByTonya Vinas It's probably no surprise that demand for executives in the United States fell in 2002, but it might be surprising to learn that some bright spots have emerged. According to ExecuNet's Executive Talent Demand Index, published since 1997, demand for executives fell 17% in 2002: down 26%, 19%, 15% and 6% in each quarter, respectively, when compared with corresponding 2001 quarters. In the final quarter however, ExecuNet recorded an 8% increase in demand for sales and marketing executives and a 7% increase for MIS/IT professionals. ExecuNet is an online career services center for executives and recruiters. "With so much uncertainty surrounding where the economy was headed, very few companies were in the mood to add to their payrolls in 2002," says Mark Anderson, president of ExecuNet. "Looking ahead, we expect the demand for executive talent to increase gradually in 2003, as more companies look for leaders that have proven they are capable of increasing revenues." The fourth-quarter increase in demand for MIS/IT professionals is particularly worth noting considering overall annual demand for executives in high technology dropped 39%. Meanwhile, the health care industry remains a strong job market with demand for pharmaceutical/health care/biotechnology executives increasing 13% during 2002. In manufacturing, the demand for executives fell 4% on the year.