Minnesota lost 2,900 technology jobs in 2010, but might have already gained them back

Work like this went away last year, but still pays a lot.
Work like this went away last year, but still pays a lot.

Americans cannot get enough technology, from wall-sized televisions that play movies to handheld gadgets that play very small movies. But even the technology field can't avoid getting caught up and tossed around in the tide of the recession.

Minnesota lost 2,900 technology jobs in 2010, with the majority of the losses coming on the manufacturing side, according to a new report from the TechAmerica Foundation.

The same report found that tech jobs disappeared across the country, and that Minnesota's ranking, No. 17  in America with 120,800 tech jobs, is unchanged from last year.

Tech jobs come with pros and cons, it seems. For example, con: You have to figure out how to use those skinny little screwdrivers. Pro: You get paid by the truckload.

Minnesota tech jobs pay an average annual salary of more than $79,000, about three-quarters more than the average private sector job in this state, according to TechAmerica's report.

Thanks to the presence of the University of Minnesota, Boston Scientific, and the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota's tops in the country in electromedical equipment manufacturing, which pays the bills for 13,400 people.

In tech jobs, someone hit Ctrl+X in 2010... then hit Ctrl+V in 2011.
In tech jobs, someone hit Ctrl+X in 2010... then hit Ctrl+V in 2011.

Of the 2,900 total Minnesota tech jobs lost in 2010, 1,100 came in manufacturing of computers and related equipment, and another 800 came in electronics manufacturing. Nationwide, the country dropped about 116,000 tech jobs last year, which, TechAmerica rosily points out, is at least better than the 250,000 jobs shed in 2009.

Good news, though, thanks to a separate midyear 2011 report from TechAmerica: Those 116,000 jobs lost in 2010 are back! Well, maybe. The midyear report is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which found America entered 2011 still on a tech jobs losing streak, but after January saw growth for the next five months.  That report doesn't break down job gains by state, but with Minnesota in the top third of states in tech employment, it's safe to assume we got most if not all of last year's losses back.

In total, the industry gained 115,000 American jobs from January through June this year, bringing the total back up to 5.89 million Americans employed in the tech field.

Rest in peace, Steve Jobs. We'll do our best without you.

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