Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn touting his jobs program

Don’t tell this to Amazon.com, Facebook, Google or the countless startup companies in Seattle that are struggling to find high-quality talent. But a new report out from the TechAmerica Foundation shows that the U.S. high-tech industry lost 115,800 jobs last year, marking a two percent decline.

Bloomberg notes that it is the second year of falling employment in the industry.

Software services was the only major job category which posted any growth, with a one percent increase of 22,800 positions for the year.

Fortunately, that’s an area of strength for Seattle given Microsoft’s roots in the region. But, interestingly, that sector saw declines in Washington state last year, according to the report.

Meanwhile, other companies are adding positions in the region at a rapid clip. In recent weeks, we’ve covered HTC’s desire for a new building in Pioneer SquareZulily’s rapid expansion in SoDo and Google’s plans for a new Bothell campus.

We’ve also been following a trend of California companies setting up shop in Seattle, including two recent startups that we reported on this week: SweetLabs and SpaceCurve.

In fact, the TechAmerica report found that high-tech jobs in Washington state remained steady at about 183,400. (Ranked 10th nationwide) That compares to a two percent loss in the state’s private sector workforce last year.

The state’s software publishing sector lost 800 jobs last year, but with 50,800 in the sector it remains the biggest nationwide.

“Washington continues to be the primary hub for software production in the United States,” said Josh James, Vice President, Research and Industry Analysis at TechAmerica Foundation.  “Though jobs among software publishers were slightly down in 2010, computer system design jobs were up and wages in the tech industry as a whole continue to be more than double the state’s average private sector wage.”

High-tech workers in the state also were well paid, earning an average wage of $105,500. That’s the third most among the 50 states, and 125 percent more than Washington’s average private sector wage.

Here’s a look at the full report from TechAmerica.

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