The U.S. high-tech industry lost 115,800 net jobs in 2010, for a total of 5.75 million workers. This two percent decline in tech industry employment was less than half of the 249,500 jobs lost in 2009, which followed several years of sustained growth, according to the TechAmerica Foundation’s 14th annual Cyberstates report.
Over the longer term of 2007 to 2010 – the span of the economic downturn – the tech industry fared better than the private sector as a whole, with a four percent decline in employment versus a seven percent decline in the private sector.
“Of the four high-tech sectors highlighted in our report, only software services added jobs in 2010 – 22,800, a one percent gain,” said Robert F. Bennett, chairman of TechAmerica Foundation. “Of the jobs lost, 72,100 were in communications services, 53,600 were in tech manufacturing, and 12,900 were in engineering and tech services. Fortunately, the initial numbers for 2011 look more promising in terms of job growth.”
Job growth occurred in all four tech industry sectors
TechAmerica Foundation also today released a midyear jobs report for 2011 based on a different monthly data set from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This report shows that between January and June 2011, the tech industry added a net 115,000 jobs, a two percent gain, not adjusted for seasonality.
During this time period, job growth occurred in all four technology industry sectors, with the fastest growth in engineering and tech services. A 12 month review of June 2010 in comparison with June 2011 also shows growth in three of the four tech industry sectors, with job losses occurring in communication services.
“Tech jobs were down in 2010, trending with the rest of the economy, but we have fared better than the private sector as a whole over the course of the economic downturn and there are some positive signs for 2011, said Dan Varroney, acting President and CEO of TechAmerica. “We are poised not only to grow our own industry but to support the growth of the economy as a whole. The key to growth is to support what we call the Four T’s: technology, talent, tax, and trade.”
“Technology: We need robust federal investment in basic research to create the scientific base that companies can use to produce new products and innovations.
“Talent: We need to invest in STEM education to provide our children with the foundation in math and science that will prepare them for high paying careers while allowing highly skilled foreign nationals educated at our universities to remain in the United States and join American companies instead of returning to their home countries and competing against us.”
Tax system needs reform
“Tax: We need to reform our tax system to make capital welcome. We are competing against countries that are aggressively implementing tax policies that lower the cost of business. We need comprehensive tax reform that attracts investments in technology and creates a framework that encourages repatriation of profits made by foreign operations of U.S.-based corporations.
“Trade: We need to open new markets to U.S. products and services by finishing the pending Free Trade Agreements with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea and continue to pursue other opportunities to expand trade.”
Eight states added tech jobs in 2010
The state-by-state data reveal that eight states added tech jobs in 2010. The largest gains occurred in Michigan (+2,700), the District of Columbia (+1,400), West Virginia (+400), Utah (+400), and South Carolina (+300). On a percentage basis, the District of Columbia saw the fastest job growth in 2010 at 4.3 percent, albeit at a small base.
For the sixth straight year, Virginia led the nation with the highest concentration of tech workers – 98 of every 1,000 private sector workers in the state were employed in the tech industry. Massachusetts and Colorado ranked second and third, respectively.
Cyberstates 2011 relies on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report provides 2010 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.
Cyberstates 2011 may be purchased for $150. The 2011 midyear report may be freely downloaded. Both reports can be accessed at: www.techamericafoundation.org/