Tech sector shows strength as source of new jobs
BY SANDRA GUY Business Reporter email@example.com January 23, 2012 7:12PM
Updated: January 24, 2012 4:03PM
Despite big cuts by some big companies, technology is leading the way in job growth, as web and computer companies bump up hiring and as startup companies create significant job openings, surveys show.
Though tech companies downsized in the second half of 2011, the number of jobs they cut nationwide was the lowest since tracking started 15 years ago, a study released Monday by Chicago-based Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a jobs research and outplacement firm.
Tech firms announced they would cut 37,038 jobs nationwide in 2011, a decrease of 21 percent from 2010 and down 79 percent from 2009, the study showed.
The strongest sectors computer systems design and electronics manufacturing firms reported net job increases of 60,200 and 13,100, respectively, in 2011, the Challenger report showed.
The technology sector is definitely among the areas of the economy enjoying the fruits of recovery, said CEO John A. Challenger.
Though restructurings at AT&T, Tellabs, Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions caused the Chicago area to experience a five-fold jump in technology job cuts in 2011 over 2010, the latest data show the sector is growing overall. When the four big companies are excluded, tech job cuts dropped by 42 percent in 2011 from 2010.
Technology, scientific and professional companies together created 3,559 jobs in the first nine months of 2011, making up for 40 percent of the 8,894 job losses that occurred after Chicago-area companies cut their workforces or moved out of Illinois, according to Dunn and Bradstreet data reported by the Illinois Innovation Index that tracks job trends. Another 244 businesses moved into Illinois, creating an additional 6,883 jobs, the report said.
In Chicago, 5,182 web developer openings and 4,757 computer systems analysts openings led all job postings from October through December 2011, according to data compiled by Help Wanted Online and the Chicago Workforce Investment Council. Third place went to marketing manager, at 3,338.