2008 was the fifth straight year of employment gains in the tech industry’s two strongest sectors — software services, which added 86,200 net jobs, and engineering and tech services, which added 26,600 net jobs. The downside is that high-tech manufacturing shed 23,100 jobs and communications services shed 12,700 jobs. This is according to the 2009 Cyberstates Report from TechAmerica.org.
TechAmerica, formed by the merger of AeA and the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), today released its 12th annual Cyberstates report, which includes a first-ever supplement with a 3rd and 4th quarter breakdown of 2008 tech employment. Fourth quarter data show the tech industry’s resilience compared to the U.S. economy as a whole, having sustained only a 0.6 percent drop in employment, or 38,000 jobs, in Q4 2008 when total private-sector employment declined by 1.3 percent.
The high-tech industry has added 382,900 jobs to the U.S. economy over the last four years. The industry added 77,000 net jobs in 2008, for a total of 5.9 million workers. This was on top of 79,600 added in 2007, 139,000 in 2006, and 87,400 in 2005.
The Cyberstates 2009 report — which details national and state trends in high-tech employment, wages, and other key economic factors for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico — shows that California’s high-tech industry added 2,000 net jobs for an industry total of 942,700 in 2007, the most current year for which state data is available. This marks the third net increase in jobs since the tech bubble began to burst in 2000. Leading the way in job creation were the computer systems design and related services sector (+12,600 jobs), R&D and testing labs (+8,800), and engineering services (+2,500 jobs).
Cyberstates 2009 Highlights
- U.S. high-tech employment totaled 5.9 million in 2008.
- Tech employment was up in 2008 by 77,000 or by 1.3 percent.
- High-tech manufacturing employment fell by 1.3 percent, losing 23,100 jobs between 2007 and 2008.
- The semiconductor industry lost the most jobs of any manufacturing sector, 10,900 in 2008.
- Six of the nine tech manufacturing sectors lost jobs in 2007. Only the communications equipment, defense electronics, and electromedical equipment sectors added jobs.
- The communications services sector continued to shed jobs in 2008, albeit at a faster pace, losing 12,700 compared to a loss of 7,200 in 2007.
- The software services industry added 86,200 jobs in 2008, up for the fifth year in a row.
- The engineering and tech services industry added 26,600 jobs in 2008, also up for the fifth year in a row, putting it at an all time high.
- The unemployment rate for electrical engineers was 2.5 percent in 2008 and 2.7 percent for computer and math occupations.
- The tech industry paid an annual average wage of $83,300 in 2007, 88 percent more than the average private sector wage of $44,400.
The Full report is available for purchase at Cyberstates 2009