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Tech jobs up in July

Hardware, services jobs both increase, according to monthly U.S. Labor Department report.

July was fairly sunny when it came to new jobs in the U.S. tech industry.

During the month, the U.S. economy added thousands of jobs in both the hardware and services sectors of the technology arena, according to a report Friday from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The number of payroll jobs in computer and electronic-product manufacturing rose by 3,200, to 1.34 million, while payroll jobs in computer-systems design and related services increased by 2,200, to 1.19 million.

Overall, the U.S. economy added a better-than-expected 207,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in July, bringing the total to 133.8 million, as employment rose in many service industries. The country's unemployment rate remained at 5 percent.

The Labor Department report builds on other hopeful signs in the job market for U.S. techies. Information technology workers grew more confident in the employment market in July, according to a study earlier this week from staffing company Hudson. A report released a few months ago indicated that the U.S. technology industry turned a corner last year when it comes to employment woes. Job postings on tech-focused Dice.com rose 26 percent between Jan. 1 and June 1, with strong gains in eastern cities. And 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.

The Labor Department's report Friday had its own gloomy news about the tech sector. For instance, payroll employment in the category of Internet service providers, search portals and data processing slipped by 2,700, to 390,100.