Tech industry employment brightens


Chicago, IL —The U.S. tech sector added nearly 190,000 jobs between January 2004 and June 2005, according to data generated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and compiled by AeA , a high-tech U.S. trade association. The increase brings the total number of jobs in the sector to 5.72 million, a 3.4 % increase. The data, which show the tech sector has produced a net increase in jobs over the last six-, 12-, and 18-month time spans, are from a study released this month as part of AeA's ongoing Competitiveness Series.

"The data confirm our suspicion that the high-tech industry has recovered from the bursting of the tech bubble of 2000-2001," said AeA's president and CEO, William T. Archey. "While industry growth is by no means explosive, the rise in high-tech jobs has been steady, and we find it encouraging that even tech manufacturing experienced a small increase. The trend over the last 18 months has impressed us. After precipitous declines in 2001 and 2002, job losses began to slow, but only now are we witnessing actual gains. This benefits our economy as a whole because tech jobs pay 84% more than the average private sector job."

At the individual sector level, technology manufacturers added a net 21,800 jobs in the U.S. from January 2004 to June 2005 for a total of 1.36 million jobs, a 1.6 % increase and the first growth in tech manufacturing employment since 2000. Tech services providers added a net 167,000 jobs over the same time period for a total of 4.36 million jobs, a 4% rise. Within this sector, engineering and tech services added the most: 100,800. Software services came in second, with an employment growth of 75,600 jobs. Only communications services declined, losing 9,400 jobs.

Acknowledging the positive trends, Archey remained guardedly optimistic. "Continued growth of the U.S. tech sector is linked to our overall competitiveness in science and technology. Understand that while the United States remains preeminent in these spheres, our lead is slipping. Once we start addressing this issue, it will only enhance job growth in our industry. We need to renew our commitments to research and development, an educated workforce, and high-skilled immigration. The rest of the world is catching up to us and it’s time we start realizing that."

AeA has nearly 2,500 member companies from all segments of industry. Its ongoing Competitiveness Series research focuses on issues that are timely and relevant to the high-tech industry and to U.S. competitiveness in a global economy. Click here to read or download the free reports.

—Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jeanine Katzel, senior editor,

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