Tech Jobs Grow During First Half of 2010

Job growth indicates that the technology industry is creeping out of the recession, according to a tech industry trade group.

The U.S. high-tech industry is showing signs of job growth and economic recovery, having added 30,200 tech jobs during the first half of 2010, according to the TechAmerica Foundation, whose data is based on numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The TechAmerica Foundation, a nonprofit advocacy group for the technology industry, tracked job growth in three of four sectors of the technology industry between January and June 2010. The tech services sector added the most jobs (29,700) during that period, followed by the software services sector, which netted 14,200 jobs. Technology manufacturers ranked third, with 9,100 net new jobs between January and June 2010. 

Communications services, which includes Internet and telecom companies, was the one sector of the technology industry that lost jobs during the first half of the year. It dropped 22,800 jobs.

"As one of the last industries to feel the effects of the recession, the technology industry now appears to be slowly turning the corner with the rest of the economy," said Phil Bond, president and CEO of TechAmerica, in a statement.

But employment in the tech industry still has a ways to go before it gets back up to even early 2009 levels. As of June 2010, tech industry employment reached 5.78 million workers, compared to 5.99 million in January 2009. 

The reason tech employment was still relatively high in January 2009 is because the technology industry didn't start to feel the effects of the financial crisis and economic recession until well after both started, according to the TechAmerica Foundation. While economists peg December 2007 as the official start of the recession, "the technology industry continued to add jobs until the last quarter of 2008, by which time much of the rest of the private sector was already well into recession," the trade group reported in a press release.

The TechAmerica Foundation's vice president of research and industry analysis, Josh James, warned that "continued recovery is by no means certain," but with job growth in three of the four technology industry sectors, the Foundation remains "guardedly optimistic" about the tech industry's economic recovery.

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