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Tech jobs added in August

Computer systems design and computer manufacturing jobs grow, as does optimism among IT workers.

More than 9,000 new jobs were added to the U.S. economy in August in the field of computer systems design and related services, the Labor Department said Friday.

The positions were part of broader employment growth in that corner of the high-tech industry, which overall has weathered hundreds of thousands of jobs cuts in recent years. Since last August, 36,400 new payroll jobs have been added in the computer systems design industry, to a total of 1.13 million.

Such signs of life in computer systems design come amid conflicting information about the job scene for technology professionals. Unemployment rates are dropping for techies, but so are the numbers of people employed in tech occupations--suggesting that some workers may have left the field, possibly discouraged by grim forecasts or a lack of current jobs.

A monthly survey, though, has found that confidence among IT workers in the job market has been growing gradually.

Computer systems design wasn't the only tech-related sector showing employment growth in August. Nearly 4,000 jobs were added in the management and technical consulting services field, to a total of 796,100, according to the Labor Department.

And manufacturing jobs in the computer and electronic products field rose by 3,300 to 1.36 million.

The job gains were part of an overall 144,000 increase in U.S. payroll jobs in August. That number marked an increase from 73,000 jobs gained in July, but slower growth than earlier in the year. For example, the economy added 353,000 jobs between February and March.

The nation's unemployment rate dipped from 5.5 percent in July to 5.4 percent in August.