Tech Industry Employment Up in First Half of 2013

Technology hiring managers and executives still struggle in the search for qualified and eligible employees

Washington, D.C.Oct. 2, 2013—A midyear analysis of technology employment data by the TechAmerica Foundation revealed that the U.S. tech industry added 103,300 net new jobs for the first half of 2013, an increase of 1.7 percent, but grew slower than the private sector overall. The industry continues to grow at a steady pace, but is being hampered by a small, adequately skilled hiring pool.

“We continue to be encouraged by the consistent growth of technology jobs,” said Matthew Kazmierczak, vice president of research and reports for the TechAmerica Foundation. “However, we are concerned that the rate of growth in the technology industry is lagging behind that of the overall private sector. Too often we hear from technology hiring managers and executives about the difficulty in finding qualified and eligible workers.  This is particularly troubling for an industry that is at the center of the innovation economy.”

The report examines four sectors that comprise the tech industry: tech manufacturing, communications services, software services, and engineering and tech services, and found growth across all sectors for the first half of 2013, ending June 30.

“The tech industry employs more than 6 million people as of June 2013,” continued Kazmierczak. “The growth in the tech industry was concentrated in the services sector, specifically software services, and engineering and tech services. Software services grew by 40,000 between January and June of 2013, while engineering and tech services grew by 51,400. Communications services added 8,400 jobs during this same time, but nearly all these new net jobs were in the Internet services industry, which added 8,300.”

While overall employment in the tech industry grew by 1.7 percent from January to June 2013, employment in the overall private sector grew by 3.6 percent. The private sector also grew faster over the past 12 months (2.0 percent compared to 1.9 percent) and 18 months (5.6 percent compared to 3.6 percent).

“The United States needs a strong and vibrant tech industry to support the continuing economic recovery,” said Shawn Osborne, chairman of the TechAmerica Foundation. “The tech industry’s continued success relies on a strong pipeline of qualified workers and an encouraging environment. Public policy should being doing all that it can to grow this pipeline from emphasizing science, technology, math and engineering education to supporting immigration policies that attract and retain the best and the brightest from around the world to work for American tech companies. Our global competitiveness depends on it.”

All data are compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Survey, and are preliminary (subject to revisions) and not adjusted for seasonal variances. 

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