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Tech Industry

Wireless workers upbeat about jobs

More than 74 percent of industry pros rated the current job market as "strong" or "growing," according to a recent survey.

The signals are clear: It's a good time to be a worker in the wireless-communications field.

That's the conclusion of a report released Monday showing that more than 74 percent of 619 wireless-industry professionals rated the current job market as "strong" or "growing."

TelecomCareers.net, the job site that conducted the survey, said its job postings echo the upbeat sentiment. The site has nearly doubled the number of job openings posted in the wireless arena during the same period last year, and it has 40 percent more telecommunications jobs--now 5,000--offered overall than a year ago.

"Wireless continues to make a lot of noise and boost the number of jobs out there," Quinn Jones, president of TelecomCareers, said in a statement. "Continued subscriber growth and the rollout of new data services has many of our wireless clients posting new openings, and the wireless folks out there feel positive about new developments."

The overall job climate for technology workers has been a mixed bag for some time. According to U.S. Department of Labor data, 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.

Technology companies sent out 23 percent fewer pink slips in 2004 than they did in 2003. But a recent wave of mergers in the industry, such as the Oracle-PeopleSoft deal, is resulting in thousands of job cuts. In addition, tech professionals face the possibility that their jobs could be sent to a lower-wage nation such as India or China. The automation of technology tasks is also a threat.

In the TelecomCareers study, Verizon Wireless was identified as having the reputation of best wireless company to work for. Nearly double the respondents name Verizon over No. 2 Cingular Wireless, according to the report.

Also, 3G and Wi-Fi "were the two leading technologies named by wireless professionals as spurring new segment growth," the report said. The Northeast and Southwest were named as the hottest regions for wireless jobs.

The survey was conducted both online and at the recent CTIA show in New Orleans.