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Study: Texas snagging bigger share of tech jobs

Report says Lone Star State's portion of new tech positions on Internet job boards has ticked up again and cut into California's lead.

The Lone Star State has gained ground on the Golden State when it comes to new tech jobs.

That's the conclusion of a study scheduled to be published Tuesday by job search service NimbleCat. NimbleCat's research on new software and IT jobs posted to major Internet job boards found that Texas' share rose from 6.3 percent in June to 6.5 percent in July. California's share edged down from 29.8 percent to 29.7 percent.

California remained the top state in terms of tech job creation in July, followed by Texas and New Jersey, which accounted for 5.8 percent of the new tech jobs tracked by NimbleCat.

Over the past year, New Jersey's share has fallen from 6.8 percent, while Texas' has risen from 6.2 percent. California's share has grown from 25.7 percent in July of 2004.

Still, it's not clear how good the news is for tech workers in California, Texas or elsewhere. NimbleCat's 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 resurgent 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. In July, the U.S. economy added thousands of jobs in both the hardware and services sectors of the technology arena, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. 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.

What's more, second-quarter job cuts at tech companies fell 33 percent from the first quarter. On the other hand, the pace of tech-sector downsizing is ahead of the rate a year ago. Hewlett-Packard recently announced that it will lay off 14,500 workers, or about 10 percent of its staff. And 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 U.S. Labor Department.

In addition, computer professionals face the threat of increased automation and the prospect of their jobs being shifted offshore.

NimbleCat said that in July, the Long Beach, Calif., metropolitan area accounted for 6.9 percent of the new tech jobs it tracks, making it the top job-creating region. The San Jose, Calif. metropolitan area was second, with 6.8 percent, and the Washington, D.C., area ranked third with 5.4 percent.