Cyberstates 2003, an annual study by the American Electronics Association, showed that employment in the U.S. high-tech industry dropped 8% last year, to 6 million, from 6.5 million in 2001. In 2003, the loss is likely to be 234,000, or a 4% decline, Santa Clara, California-based association said. Electronics manufacturing saw the biggest fall in 2002, accounting for more than half of all technology jobs lost. The software industry saw a loss of 150,000 jobs, the first loss in the seven years that AEA has been publishing its Cyberstates report, it said. The only areas with good news to report was in research and development and testing laboratories, where employment increased by 7,000 jobs in 2002, AEA said.
California, while leading the country in high-tech jobs with 995,00 workers at the end of 2002, also lost the greatest number of jobs, with 123,000 people put out of work. Texas, in second place with 479,000 jobs, had lost 61,000 in the year. The District of Columbia saw a small rise of 2,200, while Wyoming gained 500 and Montana added 100 jobs. U.S. high-tech exports fell 12% to $166 billion in 2002. These represented 24 percent of all U.S. exports that year, the AEA said.