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4/28/2010
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IT Lost 245,000 Jobs In 2009

The biggest losses were in manufacturing, while software services gained positions, according to TechAmerica.

The recession continued to take its toll among high-tech workers in 2009, according to a report from the TechAmerica Foundation. A total of 245,000 high-tech jobs were lost last year, the organization said in its 13th annual Cyberstates report.

The biggest losses -- 112,600 in all -- were recorded in the manufacturing sector in areas like electronic components and semiconductors, according to the report, which covered all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Announced Tuesday, the report had a bright spot, although the bright spot was very dim: some 10,100 jobs were added in software services in the fourth quarter of 2009. Those new jobs represented a 1% gain.

"While it weathered the storm better than the private sector at large, the U.S. high-tech industry clearly felt the effect of the recession in 2009," said Christopher W. Hansen, president of TechAmerica Foundation, in a statement. "Every corner of the industry experienced job losses, though software services, which helped tech hold up longer than most at the recession's onset, saw growth in Q4."

In the dismal economy, software services qualified as the least dismal, losing just 20,700 positions in the full year, representing 1% of the category's total. Other areas where jobs were lost included engineering and tech services, which combined lost 59,000 jobs, and communications services with 53,000 positions lost.

The report also included state-by-state data from 2008 -- the latest year those statistics were available. Gains in states strong in high-tech business were recorded for California with 15,800 net new jobs; Texas, 14,600; Washington, 9,300; Massachusetts, 6,300; and Virginia, 5,700.

TechAmerica Foundation said the report was compiled from the latest figures available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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