U.S. high-tech industry shed 245,600 jobs in 2009

RP news wires
Tags: business management, talent management

TechAmerica Foundation on April 28 released its 13th annual Cyberstates report detailing national and state trends in high-tech employment, wages and other key economic factors. The report, Cyberstates 2010: The Definitive State-by-State Analysis of the U.S. High-Tech Industry, covers all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The U.S. high-tech industry lost 245,600 jobs in 2009, for a total of 5.9 million workers. This recession-induced, 4 percent decline in tech employment is slightly lower than the 5 percent decline experienced by the private sector as a whole and follows four years of steady growth in tech industry employment. TechAmerica Foundation's 2009 quarterly breakdown revealed a bright spot amidst the losses – software services added 10,100 jobs in the fourth quarter, growing by 1 percent.

"While it weathered the storm better than the private sector at large, the U.S. high-tech industry clearly felt the effect of the recession in 2009," said Christopher W. Hansen, president of TechAmerica Foundation. "Every corner of the industry experienced job losses, though software services, which helped tech hold up longer than most at the recession's onset, saw growth in Q4 2009."

"Without decisive action, policymakers in Washington might not see the recovery that we're all hoping for," said TechAmerica president and CEO Phil Bond. "We see the benefit of focused technology policies in the federal marketplace where private companies and their employees are hard at work answering some of the greatest challenges of our times. Washington could help put more of America's brightest minds to work by enacting a comprehensive innovation agenda. We continue to look for leadership in key areas like tax policy, broadband deployment, and workforce to support the creation of more well-paying tech jobs across the country."

Every high-tech sector saw employment losses in 2009. Of the 245,600 jobs lost, 112,600 were in manufacturing, concentrated in sectors like electronic components and semiconductors. Space and defense systems manufacturing was least affected with employment declining by 0.5 percent, or 1,200 jobs. Engineering and tech services also saw a net loss of 59,000 jobs, as did communications services, shedding 53,000 jobs. Software services experienced the smallest decline, losing 20,700 jobs, or 1 percent.

Cyberstates 2010 includes state-by-state data, and shows that 41 cyberstates experienced net tech job growth in 2008, the most recent year for which data are available at the state level. The largest gains occurred in California (+15,800), Texas (+14,600), Washington (+9,300), Massachusetts (+6,300) and Virginia (+5,700). On a percentage basis, Delaware saw the fastest job growth in 2008 at 12.8 percent.

Cyberstates 2010 relies on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report provides 2009 national data on tech employment as well as 2008 national and state-by-state data on high-tech employment, wages, establishments, payroll, wage differential and employment concentration. All data are the most recent available at the time of publication.

TechAmerica Foundation would like to thank Grant Thornton for the generous underwriting of this report. Cyberstates 2010 may be purchased for $150. The quarterly supplement may be freely downloaded. Both reports may be accessed at: www.techamericafoundation.org.

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