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Tech recovers, but where are the jobs?
Survey: Sector job cuts up nearly 20% so far this year; tech lags rest of economy when adding jobs.
October 19, 2005: 12:29 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - A recovery may be underway in the tech industry, but the sector lags the rest of the economy when it comes to adding jobs, a new survey said Tuesday.

In the first three quarters of the year, technology companies cut 140,696 jobs, up 18.8 percent from the three-quarter total in 2004, according to a report by job placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The pace of job cuts in the tech industry has risen nearly 20 percent in the last year, but there are signs that employers in the technology sector are slowing down their pace of job reductions, the survey said, adding that the number of cuts announced in the third quarter was down 24 percent from the same period last year.

However, the sector hasn't managed to consistently add jobs in the last year.

"The gradual slowdown in job cuts would be more encouraging if it were complemented by a rise in hiring, but job creation simply has not materialized. The industry may indeed be recovering when it comes to revenue, profits and earnings, but certainly not when it comes to employment," said John A. Challenger, CEO of the company that conducted the survey.

According to the report, the economy has created 2.2 million jobs in the last year. By comparison, computer and communications equipment manufacturers have each added only 3,000 new jobs since last September, and telecommunications companies have added a mere 1,400 workers in the last year.

The survey attributed the employment trends in the tech industry to consolidation. "Heavy merger activity would also help explain why 2005 tech job cuts are still outpacing 2004, even though the tech sector is in a much stronger position," Challenger said.

The areas reporting significant job growth include professional services and management and technical consulting service firms. Employment in computer systems design and related services rose by about 30,000 since September of last year, and management and technical consulting service companies added about 29,000 jobs during the same period, the report said.


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