Software Services Seeing Best Recovery in IT

By Donald Sears  |  Posted 2010-04-30

The technology advocacy group TechAmerica Foundation recently released its 2010 state by state analysis of the industry. Members of the organization including Josh James, Director of Research and Olga Grkavac, executive vice president gave an interview about trends in tech hiring within the Federal government to

The key takeaway from the interview is on software services which is doing the best in terms of hiring. These details on software services comes from Josh James:

We're seeing that the industry both nationally, and if you look at the Capital region, is still really driven by software service, one of the four high-level sectors that we look at. In 2009, although software services saw a decline, the decline nationally was around one percent, compared to a four percent decline in overall high-tech. And we looked at the fourth quarter of 2009 and saw that, actually, software services was starting to add jobs again. It was also the last sector of the four to start shedding jobs. So it looks like software services was the last in and could be the first out of the economic downturn, whereas the other sectors are still struggling.

Here is the key national data from the executive summary of the report:

(National employment data is for 2009; national wage data is for 2008)

* U.S. high-tech employment totaled 5.9 million in 2009.

* Tech employment was down in 2009 by 245,600, or by 4.0 percent, compared to a 5.2 percent decline in the private sector.

* High-tech manufacturing employment fell by 8.1 percent, losing 112,600 jobs between 2008 and 2009.

* The electronic components industry lost the most jobs of any manufacturing subsector, 37,100 in 2009, while space and defense systems manufacturing lost the least, with 1,200 jobs lost.

* All nine of the tech manufacturing sectors lost jobs between 2008 and 2009.

* The communications services sector continued to shed jobs in 2009, albeit at a faster pace, losing 53,000 compared to a loss of 11,000 in 2008.

* The software services sector lost 20,700 jobs in 2009, following five consecutive years of growth.

* The engineering and tech services sector lost 59,100 jobs in 2009, also following five consecutive years of growth.

* The unemployment rate for electrical engineers was 6.9 percent in 2009 and 6.1 percent for computer scientists and systems analyst.

* The tech industry paid an annual average wage of $84,400 in 2008, 86 percent more than the average private sector wage of $45,400.

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