The U.S. high-tech industry lost 540,000 jobs in 2002, dropping from 6.5 million
to 6.0 million, according to a study by American Electronics Association. The
study also found that preliminary data for 2003 indicate that the decline in
high-tech employment slowed considerably in 2003.
The sector with the largest decrease in jobs was electronics manufacturing,
accounting for more than half of all tech jobs lost between 2001 and 2002. The
software sector recorded a loss of nearly 150,000 jobs last year. The communications
services sector posted a similar loss of jobs. The engineering and tech services
sector lost 15,000 jobs in 2002. The one bright spot was in R&D and testing
labs, where employment increased by 7,000 in 2002.
"While high-tech employment fell by eight percent last year, preliminary
2003 data show a significant slowdown in high-tech job losses, with a decline
of four percent," says William T. Archey, president and CEO of the association.
"We project that the 2003 high-tech job losses will total 234,000--down
57 percent from the 540,000 decline in 2002."
The study found that all but three states lost high-tech jobs in 2002. California
lost the greatest number of tech jobs, shedding 123,000 jobs. Texas was second
with tech jobs down by 61,000 jobs. The District of Columbia, Wyoming, and Montana
were the three states to add technology jobs between 2001 and 2002.