Tech Sector: 4th year of job growth in 2008

By Mass High Tech staff

The technology sector, for the fourth consecutive year, added jobs to the U.S. economy, according to the Cyberstates report, a publication from technology-focused trade association TechAmerica.

Nationwide, the report found that 77,000 net jobs in the high-tech industry were added in 2008, bringing the total number of U.S. tech workers to 5.92 million. In 2007, 79,600 high-tech jobs were added, and 2006 yielded an
additional 139,000 jobs in the field. The majority of the gains in 2008 stem from software service and engineering and tech service jobs.

The report provides the most recent national data from 2008, as well as state-by-state data from 2007.

Among its 2007 findings, the report shows Massachusetts as having the second highest concentration of tech workers — 87 per 1,000 workers in 2007 — trailing only Virginia.

High-tech workers also tended to make 88 percent higher wagers, on a national level, than average private sector workers in 2007, TechAmerica reported. Massachusetts was ranked second, behind California, in average high-tech wages at $100,500.

Elsewhere in New England in 2007, Connecticut ranked 11th in high-tech wages, with the average being $84,200, and 24th in high-tech employment. Maine ranks 44th in high-tech employment and 42nd in high-tech average
wages, at $58,000. New Hampshire is the 34th state in high-tech employment rankings, but 13th in high-tech average wage, at $81,300. Rhode Island is ranked 42nd in high-tech employment and 26th in average wage, at $69,500.
And Vermont, ranked 45th in high-tech employment, holds the 28th spot in high-tech average wage, at $68,000.

New England’s additional 5,000 high-tech jobs in 2007 over 2006 stemmed mainly from job growth in Massachusetts and Connecticut. However, those same two states are largely responsible for nearly 15,000 high-tech job losses in the five-year span from 2002 to 2007, the report shows.

The report notes that nationally the industry lost 23,100 high-tech manufacturing positions and 12,700 communications service jobs in 2007, and it said that a fifth year of growth in the sector is “questionable” at this
point in the economy.

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