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High Tech Still Growing, But Barely, Report Shows

By Doug Bartholomew Believe it or not, 100,000 net new jobs were created in the high-tech industry nationwide last year, according to the latest Cyberstates 2002 report from electronics industry trade group AeA. High-tech industry employment grew in the United States from 5.5 million to 5.6 million. The 1% increase contrasts with a 9% growth rate in 2000, reports the AeA, which is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. California, which has the most high-tech workers, one million, gained just 12,400 jobs. The meager increase came as no surprise to anyone, since Silicon Valley was one of the regions hardest hit by the downturn. California high-tech manufacturing also was down, which was reflected in the state's drop in high-tech exports, from $44.5 billion in 2000 to $17 billion last year, a decline of 62%. "California's manufacturing sector experienced significant job losses last year," says Joseph Lazzara, president and CEO of Scientific Technologies Inc., Fremont, Calif., and co-chair of AeA's Bay Area Council. "This slowdown is largely due to the drop in California's technology manufacturing employment."

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