High-Tech Jobs Stayed Resilient Amid Last Year’s National Job Losses, TechAmerica Says

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53,000 jobs nationwide last year. That represents a 3.9 percent decline from a year earlier, when the sector had 1.36 million jobs.

—High-tech manufacturing showed the biggest job losses, as the sector shed 112,600 workers last year, declining almost 8.1 percent from 1.39 million in 2008 to nearly 1.28 million last year. Two sub-categories accounted for more than half the total: Electronic components manufacturing lost 37,100 jobs (a 14 percent decline from the prior year) and semiconductor manufacturing fell by 25,400 jobs (down 11 percent ). Space and defense systems manufacturing showed the smallest decline, losing just 1,200 jobs nationwide last year.

Carroll says anecdotal information he’s collected from local companies suggests that San Diego’s technology community was insulated from the worst of the job cuts due to its regional concentration in software, communications, and defense employers. “I think when we get the regional data—and we’re still about six months away from the Cybercities report—we’ll see that San Diego did OK,” Carroll says.


San Diego was also highly exposed to the real estate collapse.Overall employment in San Diego County soared to 11 percent in March—a record in this recession. The jobless rate also continued to climb statewide, with unemployment in California hitting 12.6 percent last month, even though the state added about 4,200 jobs (after adjusting for seasonal hiring).

As The San Diego Union-Tribune recently noted, California is currently tied with Rhode Island with the nation’s third-highest jobless rate—behind Michigan at 14.1 percent and Nevada at 13.4 cent.

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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