Study: 560,000 high-tech jobs lost since Jan. 2001

The U.S. high-tech industry has cut 560,000 jobs during the past two years, according to a study released last month by the American Electronics Association (AEA).

The Washington-based high-tech trade organization said technology employment dropped 10 per cent, from 5.7 million in January 2001 to 5.1 million in December 2002.

Jobs in the high-tech manufacturing sector fell by 415,000, while jobs in the communication services industry dropped by 135,000, according to the trade group. It based its findings on reports submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

On the positive side, the software services industry added 5,300 high-tech jobs between January 2001 and December 2002.

The nation’s technology industry lost nearly a quarter-million jobs last year alone, the AEA said, and during the last six months of 2002, the industry shed 123,000 jobs. That continuing loss doesn’t signal any imminent employment turnaround, the group said.

AEA president William Archey attributed the downturn to the persistent slowdown in the world market. He also said that some of the high-tech manufacturing positions were lost because companies put production innovations in place, reducing the number of workers needed.

The AEA did not offer a prediction for the high-tech industry for 2003.