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June 1997

Employment shifts in high-technology industries, 1988-96

Bill William Luker, Jr., Donald Lyons

From 1988 to 1996, employment in high-technology industries shifted more toward services. Since 1988, growth in high-tech services accounted for all of the net increase in employment in the research-and-development-intensive sector. This article uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics program to survey the shifting levels and composition of employment in the industries. The data reveal three noteworthy developments: employment in the industries grew slowly; employment is shifting toward services, as defense-dependent manufacturing industries declines; and demand for high-tech workers engaged in R & D is shifting toward production of services rather than of goods.

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