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Tech Industry Shows Modest Job Growth

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October 25, 2012

During the first half of the year, the tech industry added nearly 100,000 jobs, an increase of 1.7 percent, bringing the total number of Americans employed in the tech sector to 6 million, according to a new report released on Thursday by the TechAmerica Foundation.

In its jobs report, the group found that the tech industry added jobs in 16 of 18 months from January 2011 until June 2012. The study also found job growth in three of the four sectors it studied, which included tech manufacturing, communications services, software services, and engineering and tech services.

The only area that did not add jobs was the communications services sector, which lost a total of 10,700 jobs in the first six months of 2012. The study said this was most likely due to changes in the wired communications industry. It may reflect the growth of mobile communications and the increase in the number of Americans who are dropping their landline telephones and relying exclusively on a cellphone.

The modest job growth for the first half of 2012 was down slightly from the same period of 2011 when the tech industry added 118,900 net jobs, or 2.1 percent, according to the study, which is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The report noted that the tech industry was among the last industries to feel the effects of the economic downturn that started in 2008 and was among the first to begin recovering in 2010.

"A strong and vibrant technology industry is critical to supporting an economic recovery and¸ while the tech industry has weathered the downturn better than most, we can't take its strength for granted," TechAmerica Foundation President Jennifer Kerber said in a statement. "Global economic and market forces continue to put the technology industry in a position of intense competition--a competition for innovation, where labor and intellectual property provide the foundation for growth. America can only realize the full promise of an innovation economy with smarter public policies focused on developing and attracting the best talent, investing in research and development, and growing and securing our information infrastructure."

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