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US loses 400,000 IT jobs

Most of them after the recession ended

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America saw 403, 300 hi-tech jobs disappear between April 2001 and April 2004. More than half the jobs lost were lost after the recession was pronounced officially over, by the National Bureau of Economic Research, in November 2001. San Francisco and San Jose were the worst-hit places, according to the survey from the University of Illinois-Chicago.

The fall represents 18.8 per cent of America's technology jobs - researchers estimate there are 1,743,500 hi-tech jobs in total. The survey looked at jobs in six areas and was paid for by the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers - a Seattle group which wants to unionise Microsoft workers.

Marcus Courtney, president of WashTech, said: "It is stunning to think that in every region of the country, we have fewer high-tech jobs today than we did three years ago. We must focus on exporting our products instead of our jobs to turn this critical situation around."

The research found that job losses in the IT sector were made worse by offshoring. Despite the gloomy picture there is some evidence that things have improved since the research ended in April - IBM said in August it was looking for an extra 19,000 staff, one third of them in the US.

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