While it may not appear obvious to many job seekers, economically, things were looking better in 2010. This is according to the recently released winter 2011 edition of the Electronics Industries Market Data Update from IPC. A global trade association based in Bannockburn, IL, the IPC has 2800 member companies representing all areas of the electronics industry, including design, PCB manufacturing, assembly, and test.

Admittedly, the numbers detailed in this report are building upon a horrid showing from the recession period of 2008 through 2009. Still, the trends are positive and show fairly strong growth in electronics markets around the globe. The report noted that most segments of the electronic interconnect supply chain worldwide showed double-digital year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2010, especially in such areas as printed-circuit-board (PCB) equipment, circuit-board laminates, and electronics manufacturing services (EMS).

These trends are certainly encouraging. The fourth-quarter growth rate was somewhat slower than that of the previous quarter, indicating a slowing of the overall growth trend, but still marking an acceptable level of growth for the overall electronics market. Interestingly, the study shows China's electronics market surpassing that of Japan for the first time, thus becoming the world's second rated electronics economy behind the United States.

On a completely different topic, we'd like to remind our readers that Microwaves & RF now has its own Twitter presence. Come check it out at www.twitter.com/microwavesrf.