Study: U.S. high-tech industry lost 540,000 jobs in 2002

The AEA predicted that another IT 234,000 jobs would be lost this year

The U.S. high-tech industry lost 540,000 jobs last year, dropping from 6.5 million workers to 6 million, according to a study released today by the AEA.

The Washington-based high-tech industry trade group's annual report, "Cyberstates 2003: A State-by-State Overview of the High-Technology Industry," predicted that 234,000 IT jobs would be lost in 2003.

The AEA said employment in the electronics manufacturing industry fell by 13%, with 233,000 jobs lost between 2001 and 2002. The largest losses between 2001 and 2002 were recorded in the electronic components sector, which lost 76,000 jobs; the communications equipment sector, which lost 47,000 positions; and the semiconductor sector, which lost 41,000 jobs.

According to the AEA, the communications services and software sectors lost 146,000 jobs last year, while engineering and technology services lost 15,000 jobs during the same period.

"While high-tech employment fell by 8% last year, preliminary 2003 data show a significant slowdown in high-tech job losses, with a decline of 4%," said AEA's CEO William Archey.

The study found that all but three states lost high-tech jobs in 2002. California lost the greatest number, shedding some 123,000 tech jobs. Texas was second with 61,000 jobs lost. And Massachusetts lost 40,000 IT jobs.

According to the AEA, Wyoming and Montana were the only states to add technology jobs between 2001 and 2002. They were joined by plus the District of Columbia.

Colorado led the nation in the concentration of high-tech workers in 2002, with 98 high-tech workers per 1,000 private-sector workers, followed by Massachusetts, Virginia, New Mexico and Maryland.

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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