Tech Job Losses Not As Bad As Other Sectors

IT employment is holding up better than hiring in other parts of the economy.

K.C. Jones

March 31, 2009

2 Min Read
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The technology industry has been more resilient than the larger U.S. economy, according to a report released Tuesday.

TechAmerica's 12th annual Cyberstates report showed a 0.6% sequential dip in fourth-quarter 2008 technology employment, compared with a decline of 1.3% in all private sector jobs. The report features national data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics through 2008. It provides state-by-state breakdowns through 2007.

The high-tech industry added 382,900 jobs in the United States in the last four years, with 77,000 of the new jobs created in 2008, according to the report. That's down slightly from the 79,600 new jobs counted in 2007 and the 139,000 new jobs in 2006. Overall, the industry has 5.9 million U.S. workers, according to the Cyberstates report.

Last year marked the fifth consecutive year of gains in software services and engineering and tech services, the industry's two strongest sectors, according to the report. Software services netted 86,200 new jobs last year, while engineering and tech services gained 26,600 new jobs.

"The U.S. high-tech industry continued to add jobs in 2008; however, future growth is clearly jeopardized as a result of the current economic downturn and the volatility of global financial markets," said Christopher Hansen, CEO of TechAmerica, in a statement Tuesday. "While we suffered losses in the fourth quarter, our industry has weathered the storm better than most, and the results of our report indicate that the tech industry is well positioned to help lead America's economic recovery."

However, some segments lost jobs. The semiconductor industry lost 10,900 jobs last year, while communications services lost 12,700 positions.

The report showed 39 states experienced net tech job growth in 2007, with the greatest gains in Texas (14,700), Georgia (13,100), Washington (11,300), North Carolina (5,500), and Virginia (5,300). Virginia also had the highest concentration of tech workers for the fourth year in a row. For every 1,000 private sector employees in that state, 92 of them work in the tech industry.

In 2007, California ranked highest for the number of tech jobs, with 942,700. Texas had 474,100, while New York counted 304,200. Florida ranked fourth, with 280,300 tech jobs, and Virginia had 276,100 tech jobs.

Each year, InformationWeek honors the nation's 500 most innovative users of business technology. Companies with $250 million or more in revenue are invited to apply for the 2009 InformationWeek 500 before May 1.

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