IT industry starts adding jobs at last

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Happy days are here again: the IT industry is hiring once more.

It may be a tiny gain - only 0.05 percent - but it marks a reversal at last, says TechAmerica Foundation, which based its report on Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

It shows that the US high-tech industry added 30,200 jobs between January and June of 2010, after shedding 215,000 in the same period last year.

The technology industry entered the recession relatively late, continuing to add jobs until the last quarter of 2008.

"Though the tech industry was among the last to feel the effects of the economic downturn of 2008 – 2009, it was not immune to job loss and is only slowly showing signs of climbing out of it," said Josh James, VP of research and industry analysis.

"Tech employment as of June 2010 stood at 5.78 million, compared to 5.99 million in January 2009. So there is still a way to go before we’ve made up for lost jobs, and continued recovery is by no means certain. With job growth in three of the four tech sectors, we remain guardedly optimistic."

High-tech manufacturing added 9,100 jobs in the first half of 2010, software services added 14,200 and engineering and tech services added 29,700. Things weren't so good in communications services - including internet and telecom companies - which shed 22,800 jobs.

The report shows less improvement than that predicted by Robert Half Technology earlier this year, which reckoned we'd see a five percent increase in hiring during the second quarter of the year. But while fears are still high of a double-dip recession, those organizations that can afford it are gearing up for a recovery.