Tech Companies Experiencing Robust Growth Despite Economic Slump

Hiring among technology companies in the U.S. is on the rise.

In a recent study by Bloomberg, nearly 50 American technology firms with a market value of $100 million or more reported that they increased their payrolls by more than 50 percent during the most recent two-year reporting period. These companies included Google, Inc., Amazon.com Inc., and Apple Inc.

Seventy-four businesses in the software and services sector with market value of more than $100 million reportedly increased their workforce by 10 percent or more – more than all other industry groups included in the Bloomberg study.

A number of small and midsized technology companies included in the survey reported that they had increased their payrolls by nearly fivefold.

This rapid increase in demand has reportedly prompted a number of Silicon Valley companies to begin looking to individuals with nontechnical backgrounds to meet their staffing needs. Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com each expect to add thousand of additional jobs this year, as do Tibco Software Inc. and EBay Inc. Many of these new jobs will be at their satellite offices located throughout the U.S.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland last week, Tibco CEO Vivek Ranadive said, “We are hiring quite rapidly now, all in sales and service. It’s a good time to hire.”

In contrast to the enthusiasm expressed by Ranadive, some within the tech industry have reservations about the explosive growth. Freshbooks.com chief marketing and revenue officer Stuart MacDonald is guardedly optimistic. “After some real dark days, there’s a lot of excitement and innovation happening again,” said MacDonald, “but as a guy who has been through Bubble 1.0, I can’t help but see a lot of similarities. I can’t help but think I’ve seen this movie before.”

In 2000, technology stocks crashed and dot-com start ups vanished, nearly overnight, taking with them thousands of jobs. Between 2001 and 2008, Silicon Valley lost upwards of 85,000 jobs and other high tech centers suffered similar losses.

Still, Silicon Valley seems less risky than Wall Street to many recent graduates and students with degrees in engineering and technology-related areas are reportedly among the most sought-after candidates in the new information economy. According to Associate Dean Regina Resnick, Amzon.com and Google Inc. are among the top recruiters of Columbia University graduates.

Resource: Businessweek January 20, 2012 Heather Perlberg “Tech Employers Ignore Slump”