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"Cyberstates 2011" Report Gives State-by-State Analysis of America's High-Tech Industry

Last year the U.S. high-tech industry lost 115,800 net jobs-or 5.75 million workers-- according to TechAmerica Foundation's 14th annual report providing a detailed look at both national and state trends in high-tech employment, wages and other key economic factors.

"Cyberstates 2011: The Definitive State-by-State Analysis of the U.S. High-Tech Industry" covers all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. It uses national employment data for 2010, and national wage data for 2010. (TechAmerica sells it for $150)

Fortunately, the two percent decline in tech industry employment in 2010 was less than half of the 249,500 jobs lost in 2009; a loss which followed many years of sustained growth, noted the report. From 2007 to 2010, during the economic downturn, the tech industry fared better then the private sector as a whole, with a four percent decline in employment versus a seven percent decline in the private sector.

Regarding individual state performances, a few key findings were:

  • Michigan led the U.S. in net tech job creation in 2010, adding 2,700 jobs. The next largest gains occurred in the District of Columbia (+1,400), West Virginia (+400), Utah (+400) and South Carolina (+300).

  • The leading states by high-tech employment in 2010 were California (931,000), Texas (456,500), New York (294,700), Virginia (277,600) and Florida (267,500).

  • For the sixth straight year, Virginia led the nation in concentration of high-tech workers in 2010, with 98 high-tech workers per 1,000 private-sector workers.

Other key findings from "Cyberstates 2011" include:

  • U.S. high-tech employment totaled 5.75 million in 2010.

  • The tech industry paid an annual average wage of $86,800 in 2010; 93 percent more than the average private-sector wage of $45,000.

  • High-tech manufacturing employment fell by 4.2 percent, losing 53,600 jobs between 2009 and 2010.

  • These job categories kept unemployment below five percent: engineering managers, computer hardware engineers, database administrators and aerospace engineers.

  • The software services sector added 22,800 jobs in 2010; a 1.4 percent increase.

  • All nine tech manufacturing sectors lost jobs between 2009 and 2010.

  • The communications services sector lost 72,100 jobs in 2010, a 5.5 percent decline.

  • The engineering and tech services sector lost 12,900 jobs in 2010, a 0.8 percent decline.

Better news: This month TechAmerica also released its mid-year update. This new data indicates the tech Industry added 115,000 jobs in the first half of 2011 (a 2 percent increase) for an industry total of 5.89 million jobs. During the same period of 2010 the industry added 21,700 net jobs, or 0.4 percent. On a year-to-year basis, from June 2010 through June 2011, tech added 111,900 jobs, a 1.9 percent increase.

All this activity indicates that the industry is definitely showing signs of "slowly coming out of the economic downturn" said the Foundation. Engineering and tech services jobs are leading the pack.

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