Morning Coffee Aug 31 2012

Winners and Losers in Tech

By Kelly Eggers

According to a new report from the National Employment Law Project, the majority of jobs added in the U.S. during the economic recovery were low-wage positions, not mid-wage roles that were lost during the height of the recession.

It's not that there aren't enough jobs, the report's author told the New York Times, it's that there aren't enough "good jobs" to suit the number of people who are looking for them. Low-wage jobs made up 21% of the jobs lost in the recession but have made up 58% of the jobs added since then. That's compared with mid-wage jobs, like construction, manufacturing and information, which accounted for 60% of jobs lost but only 22% of jobs gained.

This picture mirrors the winners and losers in the technology business. Firms like Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Research In Motion and Motorola once led the economy, but it's these older line tech companies that have been laying employees off.

Meanwhile companies like Apple and Facebook saw much of their recent growth during a slow economy. Yet they employ far fewer people. Apple's head count a year ago was 60,400 and Facebook employs roughly 3,200. At its height last year, H-P employed approximately 349,600. New, web-based technology requires fewer hands to develop and maintain, and Apple's history of outsourcing means many of its supply-chain and manufacturing positions aren't available in the U.S.

The lesson for job seekers: Complacency won't cut it in today's economy. Workers who have spent most of their careers in fields like manufacturing need to freshen their skill-sets to take advantage of the jobs that are available, and need to be ready to compete for the jobs created, especially in technology.

Readers: has been acquired by Dice Holdings Inc. and Tech Morning Coffee will be taking some time to get a makeover. Stay tuned to receive Technology Morning Coffee later in the fall, brought to you by In the meantime, check out a few of our greatest hits.

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Talking Shop (Reuters)

Following Apple's win over Samsung in its patent lawsuit, Tim Cook and Larry Page, Google's chief executive, have been spending more time talking on the phone about intellectual property matters. Some say they could be coming to a truce.

Extra Motivation (Bloomberg)

The chief of SAP AG said that his decision to push into tablet computing was spurred by a call he received from Steve Jobs early in 2010.

Sharing Wisdom (AllThingsD)

Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has written a new book to be published next year called "Lean In." It's said to be a guide for working women, motivating them to go for careers the way men have for years.

It's Not Over (The Verge)

Apple may have had a major victory over Samsung in its U.S. lawsuit, but the Cupertino, Calif.-based company hasn't yet seen its good fortune spread overseas. Verdicts in South Korea and Japan have been in favor of Samsung.

Managing Expectations (Bits)

A market research firm that has made bullish estimates on Facebook's profits has lowered its forecast for the social network from earlier in the year.

Trendsetters (Motoramic)

According to one auto industry columnist, Apple's influence has extended well beyond the tech market. Silver was the car color of choice for most drivers, until Apple made white cool.

Rolling the Dice (AllThingsD)

Zynga has reportedly hired Maytal Ginzburg, the senior vice president of regulated markets at 888holdings, as its chief operating officer for new markets. 888holdings offers online and mobile gambling using customers' real money.

Buzz Around the Office

Not Gonna Do It (MSN)

Not often do you see a former U.S. president do an impersonation on camera. Even less often do you see one impersonate an actor. And never has a president impersonated an actor impersonating himself…until now.

List of the Day: Advancing at a Small Firm

Moving up the ranks at a small firm can be difficult. Here's how to pull it off.

1. If you aren't given new responsibilities, create them for yourself.

2. Build a career plan and discuss it with your boss.

3. Find a mentor.

(Source: The Daily Muse)

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