High tech doesn’t always mean high growth

July 29, 1999

Employment in high-tech industries grew more slowly between 1986 and 1996 than employment in the total nonfarm economy. A new study from BLS shows that employment in high-tech industries rose by only 9 percent in this period, while overall employment was up by 20 percent.

Employment change in selected high-tech industries: actual, 1986-1996 and projected, 1996-2006
[Chart data—TXT]

However, employment in high-tech industries is projected to increase by 23 percent in 1996-2006, compared to a projected growth rate of 15 percent for total employment. Also, the gains in employment have not been equally distributed among high-tech industries. In some industries, such as computer and office equipment manufacturing, employment dropped from 1986 to 1996 and is projected to fall in the subsequent 10-year period. Other industries, most notably computer and data processing services, experienced tremendous employment growth in 1986-1996 and this growth is expected to continue.

Projections data are from the BLS Employment Projections program. Find more information on high-tech employment and wages in "High-technology employment: a broader view," by Daniel Hecker, Monthly Labor Review, June 1999. This study identifies 29 specific industries as high-tech.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, High tech doesn’t always mean high growth on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/jul/wk4/art04.htm (visited September 30, 2014).


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