Hi-tech industry cuts a quarter-million jobs

Posted by Emma Woollacott

The US' hi-tech industry cut nearly 250,000 jobs last year, after rour years of growth in a row.

Industry group TechAmerica Foundation says 5.9 million Americans were employed in the technology industry last year, down four percent on the year before.

High-tech manufacturing suffered worst, with the number of jobs falling 8.1 percent. But employment also fell by 3.9 percent in communications services, 3.6 percent in engineering and tech services and 1.2 percent on software services. However, software services rallied later in the year, adding 10,000 jobs in the fourth quarter.

"Without decisive action, policymakers in Washington might not see the recovery that we're all hoping for," said TechAmerica President and CEO Phil Bond.

"Washington could help put more of America's brightest minds to work by enacting a comprehensive innovation agenda. We continue to look for leadership in key areas like tax policy, broadband deployment, and workforce to support the creation of more well-paying tech jobs across the country."

The state-by-state fgures are for 2008 only. Some states did experience growth - notably California, with 15,800 new jobs and Texas with 14,600. Washington added 6,300 and Massachusetts 6,300. Delaware saw the fastest job growth in 2008 at 12.8 percent.

The figures are better than for most sectors of the economy - jobs in the private sector overall fell by five percent.

Cyberstates 2010 is based on data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.