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Report: Tech Job Growth Seen in First Half of 2010

TechAmerica, a nonprofit advocacy group, released an employment report (PDF) today showing an increase in tech-related job hiring for the first half of 2010.

Based on numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the report found that three of four tech-related industries experienced a spike in new hires. The study focused on the time period between January and June of 2010, finding that the overall tech industry added 30,200 jobs -- an increase of 0.5 percent for the entire market.

Compared with last year's data, the increase is good news. In the same period in 2009, there were 143,000 tech jobs lost, or 2.4 percent of overall tech jobs. However, the jury is still out on whether the new number represents an upward trend.

"Though the tech industry was among the last to feel the effects of the economic downturn of 2008-2009, it was not immune to job loss and is only slowly showing signs of climbing out of it," said Josh James, vice president for research and industry analysis at TechAmerica Foundation, in a press release. "Tech employment as of June 2010 stood at 5.78 million, compared to 5.99 million in January 2009. So there is still a way to go before we've made up for lost jobs, and continued recovery is by no means certain."

The software service sector accounted for 14,200 new jobs. High-tech manufacturing contributed 9,100 new jobs. The engineering and tech services sector increased the count with 29,700 new jobs. The only tech sector with numbers that took a dive was the communications services industry, which had a net loss of 22,800 jobs from the first half of 2010.

After January, 44,800 jobs ended because they were part-time or holiday-based jobs. The June increase in jobs was attributed to youth leaving school and able to work part time.

While the job market growth in the first half of 2010 was a positive finding, the employment situation looks differently from a year-over-year comparison. The report found that 72,800 tech-related jobs, or 1.2 percent of the overall workforce, were lost between June 2009 and June 2010.

TechAmerica's report advocated ways to make the short-term jobs growth found in the first half of 2010 become a more permanent trend. The advocacy group said that there needs to be a "continued revitalization of federally funded research." This, coupled with a permanent tax credit for research and development, would aid every sector in the tech industry, according to the group's announcement.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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