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Colo. tech force hit harder than nation’s-Industry had 2/3 of state’s job losses

Colorado’s information-technology workforce suffered more than the rest of the nation during last year’s recession, a new survey shows.

By Steve Raabe
Denver Post Business Writer

Colorado also will be slower to recover this year than other parts of the country, according to the study by Greenwood Village-based Access Data Consulting Corp.

More technology job and wage losses will occur this year in Colorado, the survey suggests, but at a less alarming rate than in 2002, when the tech sector accounted for two-thirds of Colorado’s 19,634 job losses.

"The survey confirms what the marketplace has been telling us – the worst seems to be over," said Dan Dampier, chief executive officer of Access Data Consulting. "Fewer companies are expected to have layoffs and wage cuts."

He said Colorado fared worse than other areas because the state’s information-technology employment is centered in telecommunications and cable TV – groups hit harder than other technology sectors.

Dampier said the study is the first in what he plans to make a quarterly indicator of the health of Colorado’s information technology sector.

Results showed that 45 percent of Colorado information-technology employers suffered job losses in 2002, compared with 43 percent of firms in the Rocky Mountain region and 38 percent nationally.

However, Colorado IT workers fared better than the rest of the nation in wage cuts, with 56 percent of Colorado companies reporting pay reductions versus 67 percent at firms throughout the nation.

Steven Ziegler, principal and founder of high-tech recruiter ZDS Executive Search, concurred with the Access Data Consulting study.

"I’d definitely say Denver was hit harder than other IT markets," he said. "Denver is not a headquarters town. It’s a satellite town, and when you’re working in a branch office, a company will tend to whack jobs there before moving up to the headquarters."

The survey showed that 20 percent of Colorado information-technology employers will add jobs this year, while 27 percent will have further cuts.

http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E33%257E1175915%257E,00.html

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