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California retains lead in generating tech jobs

Monthly report finds that the Golden State's share of new tech jobs ticked up in February after falling since November.

The home state of Silicon Valley regained momentum last month when it comes to new technology jobs, according to a new study.

Research from job search service NimbleCat shows that California's share of new information technology jobs posted on major Internet job boards rose slightly last month, to 24.2 percent from 24 percent in January. The state's share of new tech jobs had been falling from a high of more than 28 percent in November. NimbleCat plans to release the study later this week.

California remained the clear leader when it comes to generating new tech positions. Nimblecat's study found that no other state accounted for more than 10 percent of new jobs.

Washington, D.C., was the metropolitan area with the largest share of new tech jobs in February, according to the report, followed by Long Beach, Calif.; San Jose, Calif.; Chicago and Boston.

The job market for IT professionals has been a mixed bag for much of the past year. The average number of unemployed workers in nine high-tech categories--including computer programmers, database administrators and computer hardware engineers--fell from 210,000 in 2003 to 146,000 in 2004, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The department's data also shows that computer professionals of different stripes saw their wallets get fatter last year. On the other hand, a study from job board Dice found that salaries for technology professionals in the United States fell 2.6 percent in 2004 to an average of $67,800.

In addition, more than 175,000 high-tech workers were laid off last year, according to a report from employment services firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. And the threat that tech work will be sent overseas remains real.