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Employment in U.S. High-Technology Manufacturing

The effects of recessions go well beyond their impact on the value of the outputs of production. More far-reaching effects may be felt in the labor markets. Although internationally comparable data on KTI employment are fragmentary, employment data on U.S. high-technology manufacturing are illuminating (figure O-30).

Employment in the five U.S. high-technology manufacturing sectors reached a peak in 2000, just before the 8-month-long recession of 2001. This recession led to job losses in these industries that were substantial and permanent. The 18-month 2007–09 recession further squeezed employment in these industries. The total job loss in high-technology manufacturing over the period was 687,000—a decline of 28% since 2000.

The value of output generated by these industries contracted in 2001 and again slowed in 2007–08. However, over the decade, output per 1,000 employees doubled (unadjusted for inflation) (figure O-31).