IT Employment

AeA: U.S. high tech jobs jumped in 2007 and tech unemployment remains low

The AeA recently released a 148 page report on high tech employment trends in the U.S. The report showed that the overall number of high tech jobs in the U.S. increased by 91,400 (1.6%) to 5.9 million during 2007. Get more details and additional data points.

On April 2, the American Electronics Association (AeA) released 148 page report on high tech employment trends in the U.S. called Cyberstates 2008: A Complete State-by-State Overview of the High-Technology Industry. The report showed that the overall number of high tech jobs in the U.S. increased by 91,400 (1.6%) to 5.9 million during 2007, and that all but four states increased high tech jobs.

However, the 91,400 for 2007 was less than the 139,00 high tech jobs that the U.S. added in 2006. The study looked at all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. The four who had a net loss of IT jobs in 2007 were:

  • Michigan (-1500)
  • Puerto Rico (-1100)
  • Delaware (-900)
  • Colorado (-900)

For Colorado, it was the second straight year of losing tech jobs. It has especially been hurt by losses in the telecom industry. Meanwhile, Michigan has predictably been hurt by trouble in the auto industry.

The four states who created the most high tech jobs in 2007 were:

  • Texas (+13,000)
  • Virginia (+9,800)
  • New Jersey (+8,500)
  • New Mexico (+6,700)

Virginia had the highest concentration of tech workers with 91 per every 1,000 private sector jobs. The top four changed slightly from 2006 when California, Florida, New York, and Texas led the way. Virginia was fifth in 2006.

In terms of which states had the highest paid techies, here were the top four:

  • California
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • Washington

The picture was also different depending on which industry you looked at:

  • Software services industry added 82,600 jobs
  • Engineering and tech services industry added 45,800 jobs
  • High tech manufacturing industry lost 29,800 jobs
  • Semiconductor industry lost 12,500 jobs
  • Communications services industry lost 7,200 jobs

Other findings from the report included:

  • Unemployment is below two percent in many high tech occupations
  • Venture capital in high tech was up by six percent to $16.9 billion

"While we are certainly pleased to report that the technology industry added jobs nationally and across nearly every state, national tech growth slowed in 2007, making the story good but not great," said Christopher Hansen, CEO of AeA. "These are the types of jobs every state wants to attract, the labor market remains tight, with unemployment rates below two percent across many tech occupations."

Matthew Kazmierczak, an AeA analyst in Washington, said, "The overall findings are that high-tech employment is up for the year, adding nearly 100,000 jobs. Though the growth itself is down slightly from 2006, the market is still extremely tight for those who are qualified. Companies having trouble finding qualified workers might be what is slowing down growth."

Jim Lanzalotto, vice president of strategy and marketing at Yoh Services (a talent firm in Philadelphia), told eWEEK, "We measure wages every quarter and we noticed that wages peaked in October. They continue to grow at a year-over-year rate but the rate of increase was smaller there. The unemployment rate [in] certain IT and engineering roles is still 2 to 3 percent, very low, and well past full employment. Right now this is a vertical, or industry-driven recession. If you're in [the] financial services space or housing, you'll feel a squeeze. But it hasn't spread yet to other IT areas."

If you'd like the read the full AeA report, you'll have to purchase it. Here's a look at the Table of Contents. The report costs $250 for non-AeA members and $125 for members, and it can be purchased and downloaded online.

The AeA also noted that it has two other reports on the U.S. high-tech industry that are "forthcoming ":

  • Cybercities 2008: An Overview of the High-Technology Industry in the Nation's Top 60 Cities
  • Trade in the Cyberstates 2008: A State-by-State Overview of High-Tech International Trade

Bottom line for IT leaders

This is the latest in a series of mixed signals about the U.S. economy and how it relates to IT. At the end of last week, we published two pessimistic reports: Job security in IT plummets in February and March marks third consecutive month of job losses. Meanwhile the AeA data, which appears very reliable, provides a more upbeat picture on how tech is doing. While the overall economy will certainly have a downward pull on the tech industry and high tech workers, the latest data makes it look like IT won't be caught in the vortex like it was during the last downturn.

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

31 comments
williamsand
williamsand

This article is pure propaganda with absolutely no credibility whatsoever. If it was true then there would not be the massive unemploment ranks in the high-tech sector. Some professional electrical engineers with a MSEE have been looking for over 5 years for a job! Some have applied to over 4000-5000 different positions covering the entire east coast, California and Illinois. There is massive wide spread discrimination against the white American high tech people with respect to the fact they are "white" and the fact that they are over 40 years of age.

nooly77
nooly77

Lets see...MBA BBA, 20+ years experience...CISSP 2006, MCSE 2006, CompTIA Network+ 2006, Security+ 2006, Projr Mgmt+ 2006...all paid for by me...NO job since 2002...IT full employment?...What the hell are you people measuring? Before my certs...I wasnt 'current'...now I'm 'overqualified'...But, in all cases I'm surely experiencing age discrimination in a gross manner...since I am just over 50!! You experts are so full of crap!

frueling
frueling

It would appear that an MBA and MCSE with 20 years of prior IT experience is also of little interest to this job market. But then I'm pushing 60 which of course is a sound basis upon which to decide that such is appropriate. Yet we are told that "hybrid" teams are very popular on the job.

raycamara
raycamara

Amen Brother! See my previous response above. See I as you are over 50 with over 20 years experience in the IT & Telecommunications field. I am still acquiring my Certs also. This and the other blogs kind of scares the hell out of me at times. Only 10 more years till retirement. Maybe someone reading this will contact me for a Telework job.

nooly77
nooly77

Ask Bill Gates that question...He loves those HIB's...cant find any 'qualified' american workers ya know...were all working...Oh, I forgot... if we americans would just work for 1/2 the cost of living in the US it would be OK...! Bill thought american staff was great when he was making first billions..now were shi--t!!

Systems Magician
Systems Magician

From experience, H1B visa holders don't leave. They apply for employment based green cards adding to the glut of High Tech industry workers, hence we become dime a dozen group of workers. Congress should cut-back on the H1B being allowed. For every H1B holder hired by a company, they should also hire 1 non-H1B to work with them and get cross trained. At the end of 2/4/6 years, H1B should leave and you have a non-H1B to fill the spot, trained. We cannot continue the process of H1B's displacing american workers, whether it is a fact or fiction. Next time you give jobs to global consulting companies, find out how many are here on H1B from the engagement team, then draw your own conclusion.

matthew
matthew

The following are the percent of people graduating from U.S. universities who are foreign nationals (FN): 60% of PhDs in Engineering go to FN 53% of PhDs in Math go to FN 50% of PhDs in Computer Science go to FN 46% of Masters in Engineering go to FN 44% of Masters in Computer Science go to FN 41% of Masters in Math go to FN Do we really want to kick these people out of the United States? These people help generate the ideas, innovation, and technology to keep America at the cutting edge, and as a result the end up creating AMERICAN jobs. Kicking them out only helps other countries. Would the United States be better off had we kicked out: * Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, 16,805 jobs * Pierre Omidyar, co-founder of eBay, 15,000 jobs * Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo!, 14,300 jobs * Vinod Kholsa, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, 38,000 jobs Definitely NOT. We should be doing more to keep the smart people here in the United States regardless of their nationality.

raycamara
raycamara

So let me get this straight, They come to the Good ole US of A, get there education, and get the financial support from American Banks to create these companies. What is wrong with this picture? Why do not the Educational system help Amercian's for Americans first. Why don't the financial institutions help Americans for American first. Go back to line one.

$dunk$
$dunk$

The reason for the high percentage of foreign nationals getting higher level degrees has nothing to do with being smart. As always, just follow the money. Due to the sellouts in Washington this is going to change real soon, but it used to be that U.S. citizens could get their 4 year degree and expect good paying jobs with a reasonable level of security. Thus, there was little financial motive for most U.S. citizens to get the advanced degrees. In fact, for the most part the people who went on to get their Masters Degree were the ones whose grades were not good enough to find a job. From the university perspective, they would much rather have foreign national students enrolled than their american counterpart because they will typically pay between 2 to 5 times more in tuition than a U.S. resident. Thus, their is a natural bias to enroll as many foreign nationals as possible, as it brings in the money for the school. It has nothing to do with smarts. It's all about the money. As for being better off without the aformentioned people. I don't think it would make one iota of difference if they were here or not. Someone else would have just filled their role, the jobs you mentioned would still exist (maybe in a different location). There's nothing special about them other than a bit of ambition and being at the right place at the right time.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

belongs to the class that hires others to do the work. They want the cost of labor to go down not up.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Washington probably have the highest cost of living. I don't know about Washington.

larrie_jr
larrie_jr

??? Either people are too busy at work to post to this blog/article (ahem) OR they are reading the headline and "running with the good news", but as for me... do you think LAMINATING my "will network for food" cardboard sign (i AM in the NW) would be too austentatious???

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

if you play the part. Clean clothes, mismatched socks, work on something on your laptop and to busy to look up and beg. Have email and web addresses on the sign? That would only work in the right location. Don't just pick any street corner. Probably still won't work. You're better off reading Oz_media and Maxwell_Edison posts. Sometime ago they both described how they got jobs. If my memory is right their method was very similar. It won't work for all workers nor for every business. I don't think I have the panache to try it myself. But if you're temporarily out of work ask yourself what it could hurt? Good luck

clare.smith
clare.smith

We're not comparing apples to apples here. The AeA report is looking at the entire 2007 year and the other 2 reports are looking at current year month to month. While all of last year may have seen gains in some areas, the nearer term (1st qtr this year) isn't looking as rosy.

OldMarine
OldMarine

Where do these reporters get this stuff. The boy at the corner market has a Masters in E.E. with 20 years. I have been working 5 days a month for 3 years. PS and I am one of the lucky ones.

hornshwangler
hornshwangler

In Kolorado, there's a spanish speaking search firm that advertises IT openings for spanish speakers. Yes, there are some entry level jobs available here for programmers with unique skill sets but few senior level positions. Most firms are also being very selective now with their 'requirements', BA or BS required, MS preferred for mid level project managers. Agencies are also feeling the crunch and seem to be taking a bigger bite (margin) from the vendor's rate. All things considered, I've never seen such a negative downturn in IT in over 30 years. I'm skeptical of the report and the incentive for AeA to produce such rubbish.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

that Colorado was one of the places that lost jobs in 2007 (and 2006).

hornshwangler
hornshwangler

Yes, they had the "lost" part right. We've had a dramatic downturn for the last 7 years, each year worse than the last. The report fails to take a broader view of "lost" jobs over a period of time and where those jobs were moved. If one reads the replies to your original post, it would seem those folks that are experiencing this downturn firsthand have a different perspective. thanks for posting Dan

spera_lucille
spera_lucille

If the market is tight and employers are having trouble finding qualified peole, then wages shoudl eb up considerably. IS this the case?

tungstendiadem
tungstendiadem

Judging by the number of replies thus far to this as compared to other forums on todays mailings I would have to guess that it is in fact the case that "high tech jobs jumped in 2007 and tech unemployment remains low." The logic being that web use monitoring or even the fear of it might preclude working hour posts to any forum that might appear employment related so as not to give the impression that one is job hunting. The local market plays an important role in the individuals perception regarding what's hot and what's not. I know SRQ is primarily seeking Senior level developers and programmers, with Java and .Net in the lead followed by SAP, and some maniacs actually willing to pay an AS400 programmer's salary rather than migrate to a newer system. GE Security in beautiful lakewood ranch has been seeking senior level electrical and electronic engineers for sometime as well. I am probably going to need to relocate to find something appropriate to my skills and education, hopefully not farther than Tampa. Let me know if you see any junior or I level dba positions, I'll be graduating soon.

jmarkovic32
jmarkovic32

If you're an H1B who is willing to work for peanuts and live with 9 other H1B's in a two bedroom apartment, then yes, the market is great. However, if you're a seasoned IT professional looking for $50/$60/h, the market is crap. This article is bull.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

Original post: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/hiner/?p=650 Does this data agree with what you're seeing in the field?

Ike_C
Ike_C

That number may have gone up somewhere, but between Microsoft and other hiring foreigners and the State of Michigan going down the drain, something is not right.

wabob1
wabob1

I work for a Fortune 500 company in SE Michigan. The entire applications group learned today their jobs are being "offshored". That aside, I regularly see American engineers and I/T people being laid off; while shortly afterwards a person from overseas (you know which country) mysteriously appears in their place. In short, these findings are NOT what I am seeing in my corner of the real world...

wlportwashington
wlportwashington

I would like to know where AeA gets their figures from. A box of Cracker Jacks? From where I sit, tech jobs are almost non-existent with no growth what so ever. Even entry level jobs are drying up as companies offshore tech jobs to places like India where labor is at U.S. poverty levels and companies can take tax advantages like 100% write off of the salaries and payout no benefits. Colleges are slowly and surely dropping computer courses to less than 1/4 of what they were just a few years ago simply because there is no work around. I think that the AeA is either on drugs, living in a fantasy world, or is under the influence of our current administration that fully supports the offshoreing of American jobs.

matthew
matthew

A few people have asked were the data in this report comes from. The data are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics from their CEW program. Anyone can access the data, here: http://www.bls.gov/data/ go to the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. The data are a census of all companies in the United States who participate in the unemployment insurance program, which includes some 8.5 million establishments. For information on AeA's definition of high-tech see: http://www.aeanet.org/Publications/idmk_naics.asp

larrie_jr
larrie_jr

I am half a step from standing on the off-ramp of a freeway holding the above named cardboard sign! Here in the Pacific NW, there are few jobs and MANY people; my last job interview for IT support, I beat out EIGHTY people! For a mid level position with a regional company, the pool was 370 PEOPLE!!! (I made top 7) Always just THIS CLOSE to landing the job, but close only counts in Horse-shoes, hand-grenades, and dancing... Anyway, I got to go eat my "top ramen"... "chin up"

tomb
tomb

http://www.aeanet.org/governmentaffairs/gajl_policypriorities2008.asp Of course they are going to find that there are lots of jobs. The associations that represent the professionals, like the IEEE http://www.ieeeusa.org/communications/features/070703.htm , have a different perspective, however. A bit of RESEARCH when posting articles, as opposed to regurgitating press releases, please. Otherwise, we may as well all read nothing but Digg and /.

dodell
dodell

Thanks for the links tom b. Increasing H1B visas is at the top of their list. It's simple economics more H1Bs = more supply of labor = lower price for labor (lower wages). If you look at the rest you can see just where their priorities are. For health reform they suggest deploying information technology. What a joke. The only thing that is going to fix health care in this country is eliminating the completely useless health insurance companies. Why are we paying these people 20% to deny us health care? They are pro "free trade" agreements (this means offshoring your job). They're gainst any legislation on China (they would like to offshore your high tech manufacturing job to China). They want to "ensure that any tax reform legislation is positive for the high-tech industry and protects the industry’s ability to operate globally." In other words not tax disincentives to offshoring your job. The AeA is the enemy of the tech worker. Don't buy into their cr@p.

rsegner
rsegner

There are plenty of tech jobs out there, if you're looking for an entry level position that pays less than 30k. The increase that I've seen recently is almost exclusively for programming positions, and most of those for proprietary languages. Across the board, the salary offerings do not appear to have increased in proportion to the cost of living increases for the last 2-4 years. I still believe it's one of the best lines of work to be in. A lot of other industries are getting hit MUCH harder.

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