Tech Hires on the Rise

By Cindy Waxer September 14, 2010

A report released by high-tech industry group TechAmerica Foundation reveals that technology companies added 30,200 U.S. jobs in the first six months of 2010.

That’s good news given that the industry is among the first to begin adding jobs in today’s tough economy. But a closer look at the numbers shows that it’s still a bit early for popping champagne corks. Based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the high-tech industry’s hiring spike is a mere 0.5 percent gain – proof that the industry is still leery of hiring new talent in the throes of a global recession.

The report looks at four sectors within the high-tech industry: tech manufacturing, communications services, software services, and engineering and tech services.“Though the tech industry was among the last to feel the effects of the economic downturn of 2008 – 2009, it was not immune to job loss and is only slowly showing signs of climbing out of it,” said Josh James, vice president, research and industry analysis, TechAmerica Foundation. 

“Tech employment as of June 2010 stood at 5.78 million, compared to 5.99 million in January 2009. So there is still a way to go before we’ve made up for lost jobs, and continued recovery is by no means certain. With job growth in three of the four tech sectors, we remain guardedly optimistic.”

“As one of the last industries to feel the effects of the recession, the technology industry is now appears to be slowly turning the corner with the rest of the economy,” said TechAmerica President and CEO Phil Bond. “We have weathered the storm better than most. From its position embedded in every other industry, technology remains the best hope for driving robust recovery across the economy. America can only realize the full promise of an innovation recovery with smarter public policies focused on developing and attracting the best talent, investing in research and development, and growing and securing our information infrastructure.”

Over the most recent six months, high-tech manufacturing in the United States once again added jobs, reversing the downward trend. Technology manufacturers added 9,100 net jobs in the first half of 2010, for a total of 1.24 million tech manufacturing jobs in June – a 0.7 percent gain.Two of the three high-tech services sectors added jobs in the first six months of 2010: software services (+14,200) and engineering and tech services (+29,700). 

Communications services, which includes Internet and telecom companies, shed 22,800 jobs from January to June of 2010.On a year-to-year basis, from June 2009 through June 2010, tech lost 72,800 jobs, a 1.2 percent workforce decline. Over the same time period the U.S. private sector shed 334,000 jobs – 0.3 percent decline.




Edited by Erin Harrison

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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