Tech Trends

Job Cuts, Hires, Innovation Sectors and Tech Job Hot Spots


Even as job numbers are improving, some big technology companies are cutting jobs. Yahoo!’s announced it would be laying off two thousand workers in an effort to become more profitably focused on Core Media and Communications, Platforms, and Data. HP plans on organizational realignment to improve performance and drive profitable growth across the entire HP portfolio. Google cut several thousand contractors (temporary workers) but those cuts aren’t included in official layoff numbers. Other companies that have announced or are contemplating layoffs include IBM, Sun, AMD, Applied Materials, Akami, Symantec, and Cisco. Nonetheless, nationwide, planned job cuts declined in March to the lowest level since May 2011, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.


The sectors that may absorb some of this tech talent includes: clean tech, alternative energy, biotech, new media, and web 2.0. Big companies that are currently hiring include: Achaogen, Geron, Bio-Rad Labs, Kelly Scientific, Adap-tv, techVenture, and FaceBook. There are also a large number of small start-up companies that are hiring, some working on entirely innovative value propositions and some contracting for functions the big guys have outsourced.


Tech growth is largely in mobile, search, and more broadly communications, where U.S. companies are world leaders. Tech recruiters are thriving, as these sectors lead the growth.


Apps are continuing to grow.  More than 500,000 software programs have been written for Apple’s iPhone alone, and almost a million for iPhone, iPad and Android. According to a study by Michael Mandel done for TechNet the app economy has created approximately 466,000 jobs in the United States, up from zero in 2007 when the iPhone was introduced. This total includes app-related positions at companies including Inc. and employment spillovers to the rest of the economy.


The recent report Employment Effects of Advances in Internet and Wireless Technology by Robert J. Shapiro and Kevin A. Hassett indicates that more advanced 3G and Internet technology spurred around 1,585,000 new jobs from April 2007 to June 2011. Current transition to 4G technologies will also lead to increased investment and job growth. In fact, for every 10 percent increase in the adoption of 3G and 4G technologies, the study estimates a potential gain of 231,000 jobs to the US economy in “less than a year” in many sectors from construction to retail.


According to Dice’s Tom Silva, SVP in North America, Raleigh, NC is at the top of the list of fastest growing cities for tech jobs with 50% year over year growth in job opportunities. The tech sector in Houston, TX is augmented by the oil and gas industry’s strength and shows a 37% year over year increase in open jobs. Portland, OR is benefitting from the emergence of cloud and virtualization jobs. And “from north to south, California has more to offer tech professionals than just Silicon Valley. In Sacramento, firms in healthcare and technology are hiring and tech paychecks have jumped six percent yr/yr to $87,000 on average. In San Diego, tech salaries average more than $85,000 annually, while defense and aerospace companies are recruiting.” The top ten tech jobs growth areas for year over year for March, according to Dice, are: Raleigh, NC; Richmond, VA; Houston; Sacramento; Kansas City; Portland, OR; St. Louis; San Diego; Boston; and Denver.



Where the Jobs Are: The App Economy – Dr. Michael Mandel

The Employment Effects of Advances in Internet and Wireless Technology:
Evaluating the Transitions from 2G to 3G and from 3G to 4G
Robert J. Shapiro and Kevin A. Hassett