The American Electronics Association (AeA) has released the findings of its study on job growth in the U.S. high-tech industry for the first six months of 2006. The AeA found that the industry had a net gain of 140,200 jobs, which brought the total number of jobs to 5.8 million. That’s a 2.5% growth rate, which isn’t as high as the 3.5% growth rate of overall jobs in the private sector of the U.S. economy.

The Mercury News, which also reported on the story, pointed out that the “data [takes] into account employees in the high-tech industry, but not technical employees at other businesses. That means — an accountant at Cisco Systems would be counted, but a software engineer at Wells Fargo would not be.” So this is not an indicator of the entire IT job market, but it is an important segment of it.

This data is primarily tied to big tech companies like Intel, AMD, Cisco, Oracle, Yahoo, etc. And many of these jobs are in Silicon Valley. According to the AeA, the biggest areas of growth are in software services and engineering/tech services, while the area with the biggest losses is high-tech manufacturing. You can read the entire report here.