WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) -- The slumping high-tech industry's job growth rate dropped in 2001 to its slowest pace in six years, according to a report released Wednesday.
The number of high-tech jobs nationwide stood at 5.6 million at the end of last year. That's an increase of 80,000 jobs, or 1 percent, from the year before, according to an annual study by AeA, an industry trade group with dual headquarters in Washington, D.C., and Santa Clara, Calif.
The sluggish conditions contrasted with the high-tech industry's robust growth in the previous few years, as an influx of venture capital and high customer demand emboldened companies to go on hiring sprees. In 2000, for instance, high-tech employers created 440,000 jobs, a 13 percent increase from the prior year.
California, one of the states hardest hit by the tech wreck, remained the industry's hub. The state added 12,400 high-tech jobs in 2001, a 1.3 percent increase that raised the industry's payroll in that state to 998,000 workers, the AeA said. In 2000, California added 113,000 jobs, a 13 percent increase.
Texas, the second largest high-tech job center, didn't fare as well. It lost 3,000 jobs, a decline of less than 1 percent that lowered the state's high-tech employment to 460,000 workers, the AeA said.
Nineteen other states lost high-tech jobs in 2001. The most severe erosion occurred in South Dakota, where high-tech employment declined by 2,100 jobs, a 14 percent decrease.
High-tech companies in the state of Washington, home to 135,800 high-tech workers, paid the industry's highest average wage at $118,300, according to the AeA. California's high-tech employers offered the industry's second highest average paycheck at $99,175 annually.
Copyright 2002. Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.