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April 16, 2010

Tech Hiring Picks Up in First Quarter of 2010

Following strong earning reports this week from technology leaders Intel, Google, and Advanced Micro Devices comes news of increased hiring at some of these enterprises and throughout the industry.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google said this week that it hired 786 new employees in the first three months of 2010. Intel reported plans for its first substantial hiring spree in 5 years, adding 1000 to 2000 new workers this year. In February, Cisco Systems said it plans to hire 2000 to 3000 new staff.

Smaller companies, particularly those active in social networking, are also adding employees. The mini-blogging platform Twitter says it has added 125 employees since May 2009. Professional networking service LinkedIn says it has added 154 new staff so far this year, and anticipates another 300 hires. Dice.com, a technology industry job board, says it now lists 62,000 positions nationwide, up from 51,000 a year ago. Dice told the Journal this was the first year-over-year increase since 2007.

Some tech companies are still shedding jobs, however, particularly those that are going through mergers. Hewlett-Packard's CEO says it had 304,000 employees last October, down from 321,000 a year earlier; H-P is in the process of absorbing Electronic Data Systems. The only jobs H-P has plans to fill are in its sales force. Oracle is cutting jobs as it integrates Sun Microsystems into its enterprise, but Oracle's CEO said in January that the company still plans to hire about 2000 people this year.

These reports support the data we've highlighted recently from The Conference Board on the job market for scientists, engineers, and related workers. For computer scientists and mathematicians, the number of posted job ads has increased in five of the last six months. Moreover, for each unemployed computer scientist or mathematician looking for work, there are 2.7 job ads -- far better than in the workforce at large, where nearly four unemployed workers are looking for work for every online job ad.

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