High-Tech Market Has Lost 400,000 Jobs

The Associated Press reports that the High-Tech Market Has Lost 400,000 Jobs .

The U.S. information tech sector lost 403,300 jobs between March 2001 and this past April [2004], and the market for tech workers remains bleak, according to a new report.

Perhaps more surprising, just over half of those jobs — 206,300 — were lost after experts declared the recession over in November 2001, say the researchers from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

In all, the researchers said, the job market for high-tech workers shrank by 18.8 percent, to 1,743,500 over the period studied.

Jay Hancock writes today in the Baltimore Sun that the Switch to [stock] buybacks smacks of a vote of no confidence. [registration required]

CORPORATIONS, I know what you didn’t do last summer.

You didn’t spend much of your enormous cash hoards on building factories or buying equipment. You didn’t hire many employees. You didn’t give good raises to the workers you had.

And now we know what you did do.

The biggest corporate cash pile at least since the 1950s is being spent largely on stock repurchases, in which companies retire shares outstanding to give remaining holders a bigger ownership stake and boost earnings per share…

But the buyback surge has disturbing implications for the larger economy.

Money spent on repurchases diverts dollars that could go toward hiring, equipment upgrades and other activity that would spur the nation’s lackluster job growth and capital investment. By investing in buybacks instead of operations, U.S. corporations have cast something of a no-confidence vote in the economy – and raised the probability of the bearish outcome they fear.

Having been one of those people to lose their job, I know how difficult it was/is for many IT workers. Let’s hope that the US can turn its economy around, create and keep high paying IT job, and improve the overall employment picture.

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