High-tech industry loses 500,000 jobs

The U.S. high-technology industry lost more than a half-million jobs from January 2001 to December 2002, according to a study published today by AeA, a Washington trade association representing more than 3,000 high tech companies.

Tech employment dropped from 5.7 million to 5.1 million during the two-year period, the report said.

During the period, employment in the high-tech manufacturing sector dropped by 415,000, or 20 percent. The communications services industry experienced a drop of 135,000, or 9 percent. In software and computer-related services, 9,300 jobs, or less than 1 percent, were lost.

Employment in software services, a segment of the software and computer-related services industry, increased by 5,300, or 0.5 percent.

"On the positive side ... this is consistent with the fact that many of the innovations in the high-tech industry are driven by software," said William Archey, AeA president and chief executive officer.

The drop in high-tech manufacturing employment means the sector, with 1.6 million employees, is no longer the nation's largest manufacturing sector by employment. The food products (1.68 million) and transportation equipment manufacturing sectors (1.65 million) now employ more people.

The AeA study is based on monthly employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Click here to link to AeA announcement of the survey

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