The high-tech industry in general continued its growth adding 150,000 jobs for a total of 5.8 million in the U.S. according to American Electronics Association (AeA), the nation's largest trade association representing all segments of the high-tech industry. The high-tech manufacturing industry added 5,100 net jobs.
According to the report, Cyberstates 2007, this growth is faster than the 87,400 jobs added in 2005 and these two years of growth represent an increase of 4%. California led the nation in net job creation, with Florida seeing the second largest gain, adding 10,900 tech jobs in 2005.
Software services and engineering and tech services employment were up in 2006 for the third year in a row, increasing by 88,500 jobs and 66,300 jobs, respectively. Only the communications services industry continues to struggle, losing 13,300 net jobs in 2006.
"This is the second year in a row that tech industry employment has added jobs. Not only do these jobs make critical contributions to the U.S. economy, but they also pay extremely well. The average tech industry wage is 86% more than the average U.S. private sector wage. In fact, in 48 cyberstates the average high-tech wage is at least 50% more than the average private sector wage, and in 10% this differential is over 90%," said William T. Archey, CEO of AeA.
However Archey warned that there are serious challenges ahead. "Companies of all sizes continue to have problems recruiting highly qualified and educated individuals to work for them, whether those individuals are foreign or domestic. This was reflected in the 2.5% unemployment rate for computer scientists and the below 2% unemployment rate for engineers in 2006," he said.
"This problem is twofold: 1) the lack of American kids enrolling in and graduating from math, science, and engineering programs and 2) a U.S. high-skilled visa system that is broken. This April, within two days of the start of taking applications, the U.S. government received 133,000 applications for 65,000 H-1B visas --- those visas reserved for high skilled individuals. And this is for jobs starting in October of 2007," Archery added.