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New High Tech Jobs Gain Momentum

Still shaking off the after-effects of the devastating technology bubble of 2000-2001, the U.S. high-tech industry added jobs for the second straight year in 2006, according to a nationwide survey released this week by the AeA.

The AeA, formerly the American Electronics Association, reported that the positive jobs situation appears to be gaining momentum as 150,000 new jobs were added last year, compared with 87,400 jobs that were added in 2005. In compiling the 2006 figures, the AeA observed that the gains were uneven, with traditional high-tech strongholds such as California and Massachusetts recording significant gains while some states, including Florida and North Carolina, logged surprisingly big gains.

The AeA's Cyberstates 2007 report found a total high-tech employment population of 5.8 million. Most of the jobs pay well.

"The average tech industry wage is 86% more than the average U.S. private sector wage," said William T. Archey, president and CEO of the AeA, in a statement. "In 48 cyberstates, the average high-tech wage is at least 50% more than the average private sector wage, and in 10 cyberstates this differential is over 90%."

As expected, the nation's largest state and the center of high-tech development -- California -- led the way, adding 14,400 new jobs, which represents a 2% increase. The computer systems design and related services segment had the highest gains, adding 7,100 jobs, while engineering services tacked on 6,400 positions.

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