USA: 30,000 New Technology Jobs Added in 2010

on Wednesday, October 6, 2010
While the number of tech jobs is running below late 2008/early 2009 numbers, there has been some expansion of hiring. Three major categories of tech jobs have seen growth.

In the first six months of the year, 30,200 technology jobs were added to the economy, according to a report by industry trade group TechAmerica. The trade organization looked at data provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The main areas adding jobs include software services (14,200), technology services (29,700) and technology manufacturers (9,100). These jobs were added between January and June of 2010. Official sentiments from TechAmerica executives are simultaneously optimistic and cautious. Job numbers in technology are still down compared with the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009, but recovery in key areas is a positive sign, notes the trade group.

"Though the tech industry was among the last to feel the effects of the economic downturn of 2008-2009, it was not immune to job loss and is only slowly showing signs of climbing out of it," said Josh James, vice president, research, for TechAmerica Foundation in a statement. "Tech employment, as of June 2010, stood at 5.78 million, compared with 5.99 million in January 2009. So there is still a way to go before we've made up for lost jobs, and continued recovery is by no means certain. With job growth in three of the four tech sectors, we remain guardedly optimistic."

One area that has shed jobs in 2010 is telecommunications, which saw a loss of 22,800 jobs. Year over year, technology jobs saw a 1.2 percent decline, losing 72,800 jobs.

"We have weathered the storm better than most," said TechAmerica president and CEO Phil Bond in a statement. "From its position embedded in every other industry, technology remains the best hope for driving robust recovery across the economy. America can only realize the full promise of an innovation recovery with smarter public policies focused on developing and attracting the best talent, investing in research and development, and growing and securing our information infrastructure."

The question remains, however, whether companies will be driving the growth of high technology jobs in this country or will they be doing so abroad? Many of the major technology corporations, such as IBM, HP, Microsoft and Cisco, have burgeoning research and development facilities abroad and are hiring local talent in other parts of the world, including in Asia, South and Central America, Canada and Eastern Europe.

There is little denying that much of the growth for U.S. multinational companies is abroad, and the jobs are expanding in these locales.

"While cost savings are the strongest motivation [for moving R&D offshore], companies are also going abroad to tap global talent pools and to be closer to growth markets," wrote Vivek Wadhwah, senior research associate at the Labor & Worklife Program at Harvard Law School in a 2009 article for Bloomberg BusinessWeek. "Some of the biggest U.S. companies now get most of their revenue from abroad. Hewlett-Packard gets 69% of its revenue from outside the U.S., and Caterpillar gets 67%. IBM gets 63%, while Intel and Pfizer each generate 57% of sales from foreign markets."

With recent changes to H-1B visa fees and measures in such states as Ohio that ban the use of offshore outsourcing services, there is a protectionist sentiment in the air that aims to help U.S. workers—but could keep business growth in the developing world from expanding to U.S. shores.

"There's been this assumption that there's a global hierarchy of work, that all the high-end service work, knowledge work, R&D work would stay in U.S., and that all the lower end work would be transferred to emerging markets," noted Hal Salzman, a public policy professor at Rutgers and a senior faculty fellow at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. "That hierarchy has been upset, to say the least. More and more of the innovation is coming out of the emerging markets, as part of this bottom-up push."

Top 10 Technology companies to work for!

on Sunday, October 3, 2010
Based on Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For, these are the "best of breed" companies that are focused primarily on some aspect of the technology industry. Here are the top ranked employers, with information about where they fell on the Fortune 100 listing.

1. Google
Number 1 on this list and on Fortune's Top 100 Employers list is Google. With a great campus, tons of perks and a group of highly skilled co-workers, there is a feeling of prestige among Google employees.

2. Cisco Systems, Inc.
Taking the number 2 spot on my list (and the number 6 spot on the Fortune top 100 list) is Cisco Systems, Inc. Great salaries, perks and a dominant market position make Cisco are favorite place to work among their employees.

3. Qualcomm
Qualcomm is a wireless telecommunications company based in San Diego, CA. They rank number 8 overall on the Fortune 100 Best Places to Work, and end up at number 3 on this list.

4. NetApp - Network Appliance
NetApp, which was known as Network Appliance until recently, ranks in the top of many employee satisfaction surverys, including the Fortune 100 Best Companies, best places to work in Boston, Research Triangle, Silicon Valley and several other areas over the past 6 years. They also routinely rank within the Fortune 1000.

5. Shared Technologies
Shared Technologies comes in at number 5 on my list of best technology companies to work for. Shared Technologies is a technology solutions provider specializing in voice, data and converged technologies.

6. SAS Institute Inc.
SAS Institute Inc. is a leading software company, focused on statistical software packages, customer relationship management and business intelligence solutions. They rank number 6 on my list of best technology companies to work for.

7. Rackspace
Number 7 on my list of best tech companies to work for is Rackspace. A hosting service company known for their fanatical customer support, Rackspace is number 32 on the Fortune 100 Best Companies List.

8. Adobe
Adobe is a leading software company, with headquarters in San Jose, CA. They are number 8 on my list of best technology companies, and currently listed among the Best Places to Work in the US, Germany and Canada. In the US, they placed number 40 in Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For.

9. Intuit
Intuit has been named the Most Admired Software Company as well as landing on Fortunes Best Places to Work List for several years in a row. The financal management software company ends up at number 9 on my list of best tech companies to work for.

10. eBay
eBay is the well-known auction site, a pioneer in the world of ecommerce. With headquarters in San Jose, CA and over 12,000 emploees, eBay ranks number 10 on my list, and ranks number 68 on the Fortune 100.

London takes lion's share of new IT jobs

on Friday, October 1, 2010
Since the start of the recession London and the South East of England have created close to two thirds (64 per cent) of all new IT jobs in Blighty, up from 58 per cent before the economy dipped.

According to research carried out by ReThink Recruitment, the region shows that it is "bouncing back strongly from the recession" despite the fact that many predicted that London and the South East would suffer a huge blow because of the number of IT jobs in the banking sector.

“London has a high concentration of financial services firms, which are heavy users of IT skills. Many of them responded to the downturn by cutting their IT departments to the bone," said ReThink Recruitment director Michael Bennett.

"As businesses levels have picked up, many have found themselves understaffed and have had to replace a lot of the skills that were shed during the recession.”

He added that the financial downturn led to more investment in compliance and risk management systems, particularly in the banking sector. "We have seen a substantial increase in demand for candidates skilled in these areas,” he said.

“The wave of mergers between financial institutions brought about by the credit crunch has fuelled demand for IT candidates in London and the South East to handle post M&A integration of banking IT systems.”

Bennett said the public sector had taken a hit during the recession by pointing out that budgets had been squeezed.

"Regions outside London and the South East tend to be much more reliant on the public sector and with hiring freezes now implemented this may stifle the creation of IT jobs,” he said.

The only other UK region to see a jump in IT recruitment since the recession started in June 2008 was Yorkshire and Humberside, despite several local high street banks laying people off in the area.

The region didn't just concentrate its IT efforts on banking, however. It also invested heavily in ecommerce, had Siemens set up home there and benefited from retailers shifting parts of their biz online.

Yorkshire and Humberside claimed 5.3 per cent of total new jobs in June 2008 compared to 6.2 per cent last month.