Tech Industry Boasts Biggest Job Growth Since Bust

By Deborah Perelman  |  Posted 04-24-2007

Though still down a total of 809,100 jobs, or 12 percent of its work force since 2000, the high-tech industry has made great strides in the past two years towards recovering this loss, finds the Cyberstates 2007 report, released on April 24.

According to the report, released for the tenth consecutive year by the AeA, a Washington D.C.-based high-tech industry trade association, the high-tech industry added 146,600 jobs, or 3 percent of its work force, between 2005 and 2006, bringing total employment to 5.8 million in the United States.

"This is the second year in a row that high tech has added jobs, this more emphatically than the last. This growth of over 140,000 is going a long way to make up for the loss of one million jobs between 2000 and 2004," William T. Archey, president and CEO of AeA, told eWEEK.

The Cyberstates reports detail national and state trends in high-tech employment, wages and other related economic factors and covers all 50 states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.

State for state

In the state-for-state breakdown, the report noted some new trends. While it was little surprise that California led the United States in net job creation, adding 14,400 jobs, a state less known for its tech corridors—Florida—saw the second largest gains, adding 10,900. This was the second year in a row that Florida was among the top five states in tech employment creation.

"There's only five people in the state of Florida that understand that Florida has a huge high-tech market and two of them work for me," Archey said. "The state doesn't see itself in high-tech terms, largely because their tech jobs are spread all over the state, from Tallahassee to Miami, and there isn't one pocket that dominates."

Having a concentrated center of technology paid off for Virginia, whose Northern Virginia corridor allowed the state to surpass Colorado to lead the nation with the highest concentration of tech industry workers as a percent of the private sector work force (8.9 percent). Colorado previously owned this distinction for all ten years that the AeA has been publishing their Cyberstates report.

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