Careers: High-Tech Employment Continues to Slide

Industry association survey has one bright spot

Tech professionals may have good reason to feel blue ( The turbulent economic climate has had a dramatic effect on tech employment, according to a new Tech Employment Update report from the American Electronics Association.

U.S. high-tech lost more than half a million jobs, dropping from 5.7 million jobs in January 2001 to 5.1 million at in December, 2002. One-quarter million jobs were lost last year alone, a drop of four percent. In fact, monthly employment data from the association shows that high-tech employment fell every month in 2002.

In his foreword to the report, AEA President and CEO adds, "Tech employment dropped by 123,000 jobs during the last six months of 2002. This does not seem to signal an imminent turnaround."

There was one bright spot amid all the data. In the two-year period, software and computer-related services employment fell by less than one percent (to nearly 2.2 million jobs). Within that segment, data processing and information services fell just 0.3 percent, and the software services industry continued to add jobs, growing by 0.5 percent (bringing employment to over 1.1 million workers).

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About the Author

James E. Powell is the former editorial director of Enterprise Strategies (