The consensus of several discussions at ICML is that the number of jobs for people knowing machine learning well substantially exceeds supply. This is my experience as well. Demand comes from many places, but I’ve seen particularly strong demand from trading companies and internet startups.
Like all interest bursts, this one will probably pass because of economic recession or other distractions. Nevertheless, the general outlook for machine learning in business seems to be good. Machine learning is all about optimization when there is uncertainty and lots of data. The quantity of data available is growing quickly as computer-run processes and sensors become more common, and the quality of the data is dropping since there is little editorial control in it’s collection. Machine Learning is a difficult subject to master (*), so those who do should remain in demand over the long term.
(*) In fact, it would be reasonable to claim that no one has mastered it—there are just some people who know a bit more than others.