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Hiring Picks Up at Venture-backed Startups

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Hiring at venture-backed startups picked up speed in the first quarter of this year, according to figures released by the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and job board A total of 13,314 jobs were posted by startups on the web site in the first quarter — an average of 4,400 new positions each month — and a 16 percent increase since the end of 2009. The report is another indicator that the pace of hiring is starting to recover in the technology sector, after a downturn caused by the recession and other economic factors over the past two years.

There have been other recent signs that the technology job market could be turning around: Google (s goog) told analysts in its earnings conference call last week that it hired 768 new employees in the first quarter, and Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette said it expects to “continue hiring aggressively through the year.” Intel (s intc) has also said that it plans to hire between 1,000 and 2,000 people this year, its first major hiring wave in five years, and Cisco (s csco) is planning to expand its workforce by 2,000-3,000 employees. LinkedIn has also been hiring, adding 154 people already this year, and Twitter has boosted its headcount to 170 from about 45 in the past year and says it plans to continue hiring.

Meanwhile, a report released recently by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group said that tech sector hiring is definitely picking up. Over half of companies surveyed said they expect to see job growth in their sector, compared with just 17 percent the previous year. Although the demand for talented technology employees could make it harder for startups to compete for those hires with larger firms like Google and Intel, the NVCA report seems to show that venture-backed startups are managing to grow regardless. And that growth is important for the overall economy: A report published last year by the Kauffman Foundation found that startups are a key driver in job creation.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d): What the VC Industry Upheaval Means for Startups

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