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Tech services jobs rise in June

U.S. Labor Department counts thousands of new jobs in computer systems design and related services, but computer manufacturing hemorrhages workers.

June was a better month for tech services workers, but not so nice to employees in computer and electronics manufacturing.

According to statistics released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor, the seasonally adjusted number of payroll employees in computer systems design and related services rose by 6,300 from May, while workers in "management and technical consulting services" climbed by 4,700. Those increases were both larger than gains in the categories from April to May. But payroll employment in computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing fell by 1,600 from May to June.

Overall, the U.S. economy continued to add payroll jobs in June, but not as many compared with the previous three months, the Labor Department said. The United States gained 112,000 payroll jobs in June, but the nation's unemployment rate remained 5.6 percent. The report fit a longer-term decline in the U.S. manufacturing sector, but indicated hope in the information technology services industry, which has been shaken by the recent recession and the emergence of "offshoring."

The practice of shipping technology tasks abroad to lower-cost countries such as India or China has been gaining momentum. It has contributed to growth in spending on IT services, though the actual scope of offshore activity has been the subject of debate. Sending technology work offshore has been blasted by worker advocates as a threat to the nation's economic health, tech leadership and security, but a major industry trade group said it ultimately benefits U.S. workers.

Payroll employees in computer systems design and related services in June came in over 1.1 million while payroll employees in management and technical consulting services numbered 790,000, according to the Labor Department. There were 216,400 payroll workers in computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing in June. In the broader category of computer and electronic products, payroll employment slipped by 200 to 1,343,800.

Employment in the category of Internet service providers, search portals and data processing rose by 1,500 from May to a total of 407,000 in June.