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California tech job lead grows

Study finds Golden State increased share of new tech jobs posted at major online job boards to nearly 30 percent in June.

California is getting more golden when it comes to its share of the country's new tech jobs.

Thanks partly to job creation in the heart of Silicon Valley, the state captured 29.8 percent of the new information technology jobs posted on major online job boards in June, according to a new study from job search service NimbleCat. That's up from 26.1 percent in May and marks the state's high point since NimbleCat began tracking tech job statistics in January of last year.

No other state generated more than 10 percent of the new IT jobs at major job boards in June, NimbleCat said.

Although NimbleCat's monthly report, due out Thursday, shows new technology jobs gravitating to California, it's not clear how good the news is for tech workers there. The report does not provide statistics on the absolute numbers of new jobs. There have been indications that better times for Silicon Valley tech companies and a revived start-up scene aren't necessarily translating into a big wave of hiring.

The overall job market for tech professionals has been a mixed bag for some time. From the beginning of the year to June 1, job postings on tech-focused rose 26 percent to 69,957, with strong gains in eastern cities. And a study released earlier this year indicated that the U.S. tech industry may have turned a corner last year when it comes to employment woes.

On the other hand, computer professionals face the threat of increased automation and the prospect of their jobs being shifted offshore. The average number of unemployed workers in nine high-tech categories fell by 64,000 last year but remained close to 150,000, according to the Labor Department. And in the first three months of this year, technology companies slashed nearly 60,000 U.S. jobs--twice the number trimmed in the same period last year.

NimbleCat said that in June, the San Jose, Calif., metropolitan area accounted for 6.8 percent of the new tech jobs it tracks. That was up from 4.3 percent in May and tied the tech mecca with Long Beach, Calif., for the top job-creating metropolitan area. NimbleCat said Washington, D.C., ranked third with 5.9 percent of the new June tech jobs; Boston was fourth with 4.5 percent; and Chicago was fifth with 4.1 percent.