SAN JOSE, Calif. Ė The U.S. high tech industry added nearly 100,000 jobs from January to June 2012, a modest but steady 1.7 percent employment gain, according to a report from TechAmerica Foundation.
The communications services sector was the one weak spot, losing 10,700 jobs in the period, the report found.
The survey was based on an analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It comes days in advance of the Nov. 6 U.S. presidential election in which the lack of strong jobs growth since the 2008 recession has been a major campaign issue.
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The tech industry group focuses its lobbying efforts on policies and does not endorse candidates. Nevertheless, the timing and generally upbeat nature of the jobs report would appear to be targeted at boosting support in Silicon Valley and elsewhere for President Obama.
The U.S. tech industry saw monthly job gains in 16 of the 18 months examined in the report through June 2012. Total tech employment grew from 5.8 million to nearly 6 million over the 18-month period, an increase of 3.3 percent, or nearly 200,000 jobs, the report found.
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Except for two down months, high tech jobs grew over the last 18 months, TechAmerica said.
The report divided job trends into four buckets. Software services and engineering and tech services saw the most growth, adding 50,800 and 49,900 jobs, respectively, in the first six months of 2012. The technology manufacturing sector grew at a much slower pace, adding only 9,200 jobs.
The decline in the communications services sector was blamed on poor economic conditions in the wired communications sector. Generally, carriers are seeing net growth in businesses due to the wireless data boom, but revenue growth has not been proportional to the rise in network traffic.