September 15, 2010
The thousands of new high-tech jobs created this year hint at the industry's recovery, as detailed in a recent report from the TechAmerica Foundation.
Between January and June of this year, 32,200 new jobs became available, which represents a half-percent increase. During the same six-month period in 2009, tech lost 143,000 positions. TechAmerica, a nonprofit advocacy group for the technology industry, based its findings on an analysis of recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "The technology industry now appears to be slowly turning the corner with the rest of the economy," says Phil Bond, the Foundation's president and chief executive officer. "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."
During 2010's first six months, the four high-tech sectors TechAmerica Foundation reported on performed as follows:
- Tech services added 29,700 jobs
- Software services added 14,200 jobs
- Tech manufacturing added 9,100 jobs
- Communications services (including Internet and telecom) lost 22,800 jobs
Similarly, a June study from Dice.com, a career Website for technology and engineering professionals, shows a moderate increase in jobs, according to USA Today. It also indicates employers plan to hire more workers in the year's second half than they did in the first. The worker currently most in demand is a tech expert with two to ten years' experience.
While the past six months show a positive trend, tech jobs are still down compared to January 2009. Over the past year, from June 2009 through June 2010, the tech industry actually eliminated 72,800 jobs, which equates to a 1.2 percent decrease in the tech workforce, as reported by the TechAmerica Foundation. In comparison, over the same time period, the U.S.' private sector lost 334,000 jobs, a 0.3 percent decline.
The total number of technology jobs in June 2010, 5.78 million, remained lower than that in January 2009, when the high-tech manufacturing, communications services, software services, and engineering fields employed about 5.99 million people, reports The Washington Post.
Although economists cite December 2007 as the start of the recession, tech wasn't hit hard until later when the private sector already had been severely affected. In fact, tech's job growth continued through September 2008. "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," says Josh James, vice president of research for the TechAmerica Foundation. "Continued recovery is by no means certain."
While the recent numbers don't signify huge recovery, TechAmerica views them as a positive sign. "With job growth in three of the four tech sectors, we remain guardedly optimistic," James adds.
Compiled by CityTownInfo.com Staff
"High-Tech Jobs Up Slightly, Showing Glimmers of Recovery," washingtonpost.com, September 14, 2010, Cecelia Kang
"Tech Employment Inches Up Less Than 1%," usatoday.com, September 14, 2010, Michelle Kessler
"Tech Industry Adds 30,200 Jobs In 1st Half Of 2010," techamericafoundation.org, September 14, 2010, Josh James and Jenna Leary