Number of IT jobs in US grows to 5.3 million

The number of IT industry jobs in the United States grew to 5.3 million in 2000, an increase of 235,000, according to a report issued Wednesday by the American Electronics Association and Nasdaq. The rate of growth, however, is the slowest since 1995, the Washington, D.C.-based AEA said in issuing the report, which breaks down the number of IT jobs and salaries by state and provides other data on the U.S. IT industry.

Except the territory of Puerto Rico and West Virginia, all U.S. states saw their high-tech industry employment grow in 2000, the report said. California maintains its top ranking with more than double the number of IT jobs than second-ranked Texas. California had 973,600 workers employed in IT jobs in 2000, about 100,000 more than in 1999. Texas had 440,700 workers, about 15,000 more than the previous year.

New York, Massachusetts and Florida were ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively. Massachusetts and Florida improved their rankings one notch compared with 1999, while Illinois dropped from fourth to sixth.

Colorado ranked 10th in the number of IT jobs, but it has more per capita than any other state. There are 97 high-tech workers per 1,000 private sector workers in Colorado, the AEA/Nasdaq report found. The state also added more than 10,000 IT jobs in 2000, as did Virginia, which ranked seventh in high- tech employment.

The report also had these findings on wages, exports and manufacturing:

– The national average wage for IT workers was US$64,900 in 1999, the latest year for which data was available. That was an increase over the $58,976 in 1998 . The IT wage in 1999 was 95 percent greater than the nation’s average private sector wage of $33,200. In 1994, the average IT wage was 67 per cent greater than the average private-sector wage.

– In 2000, U.S. exports totaled $223 billion, a 92 per cent increase from $116 billion in 1994, and the total represented 29 per cent of all U.S. exports.

– High-tech manufacturing employment in the United States rebounded by 18,000 jobs last year compared to a decline of 69,000 jobs between 1998 and 1999.

– Despite the slower growth in the number of IT jobs, unemployment in many high-tech professions remained extremely low. For example, unemployment among electrical engineers was 1.1 per cent and among computer programmers 1.7 per cent in 2000.

The full report, which is titled “Cyberstates 2001: A State-by-State Overview of the High-Technology Industry,” is available to AEA members for $95 and to nonmembers for $190.

The AEA, in Washington, can be reached at

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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