The Tech Industry’s Impact on Local, State and National Economies

by Jennifer Saha, National Director, Public Sector Councils at CompTIA

There is no doubt that the tech industry’s impact can be felt in economic growth and workforce gains in local, state and national economies.  But what specifically are those numbers? According to CompTIA’s tech workforce analytics tool, Cyberstates 2018, tech employment in the U.S. grew by nearly 200,000 jobs in 2017, to an estimated 11.5 million workers. The tech sector is now worth $1.6 trillion and is a top-five economic contributor in 22 states and in the top 10 of 42 states. In fact, tech jobs have increased by around 200,000 each year since 2010 which forecasts that the base of tech occupations will increase by 626,000 jobs by 2026.

Among other key findings from Cyberstates 2018:

  • 38 states saw positive tech employment growth in 2017, slightly better than 2016, when 36 states experienced growth. The top five states for net job gains in 2017 were California (43,600), Texas (13,400), Michigan (13,200), Florida (12,000), and New York (10,400).
  • On a percentage change basis, the top five states for 2017 tech job growth were Utah (+ 3.6 percent), Michigan (+ 3.4 percent), North Carolina (+3.1 percent), Washington (+ 2.9), and Idaho (+ 2.8 percent).
  • At 10.6 percent, Massachusetts has the highest concentration of tech workers relative to its overall employment base. Following are Washington (9.9 percent), Virginia (9.9 percent), the District of Columbia (9.7 percent), and Colorado (9.7 percent).
  • Nationally, the composition of the tech sector workforce is 66 percent men and 34 percent women, unchanged from 2016. The District of Columbia (39.8 percent) has the highest concentration of women in its tech workforce, followed by South Dakota, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Missouri.
  • The number of tech business establishments across the country grew for the sixth consecutive year, and now totals nearly 503,000 businesses.

For a list of the states and cities where tech makes the biggest contribution to the state’s economy (as a percentage), check here.

Beyond Tech’s Direct Contribution

Tech’s direct contribution to local, state, and national economies is only a part of the story. Technology is the generator that powers innovation, growth, and breakthroughs in virtually every other sector of the economy; from advanced manufacturing techniques and innovations in transportation, to smarter, more livable communities, to advances in education, energy and healthcare.

In fact, the number of job postings in emerging technologies has increased 27 percent year, confirming that employers are ramping up hiring in areas such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence [AI], machine learning, autonomous vehicles, augmented and virtual reality.” In addition, the number of tech businesses across the country grew for the sixth consecutive year, now totaling nearly 503,000.

Beyond the raw numbers of new jobs, many of these positions have salaries well above those in other industries. According to Cyberstates 2018, the average annual wage in the tech industry is $112,890; 107 percent higher than the average annual wage for all jobs ($54,420).

Cyberstates 2018 (#cyberstates) is based on CompTIA’s analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, EMSI, Burning Glass Technologies Labor Insights, and other sources. Estimates for 2017 are subject to change as government data is revised and updated. The complete Cyberstates 2018 report, with complete national, state, and metropolitan level data, is available at http://cyberstates.org/

Jennifer Saha is the National Director, Public Sector Councils at CompTIA and can be reached jsaha@comptia.org.

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