High-tech job growth heats up New York, Seattle

IT jobs are hot, particularly in Seattle and New York. In fact 50 of the 60 cities in a wide-ranging survey had high-tech job growth in 2006, the latest year data were available. 

Seattle added the most jobs at 7,800, followed by the New York Metro Area, which added 6,400 and Washington, DC, which added 6,100. Riverside-San Bernardino saw the fastest job growth in 2006 at 12% according to the American Electronics Association’s (AeA) Cybercities 2008: An Overview of the High-Technology Industry in the Nation’s Top 60 Cities report that looks at all things related to high-tech employment, from wages, establishments, payroll, employment concentration, and wage differential.

Some of the results are remarkable in that only 13 of the 60 cybercities in the AeA report saw tech job growth between 2001 and 2006.

The 148-page report also notes the high-tech industry employs highly educated workers and pays them well --- 87% more than the average private sector worker nationwide. Fifty-six cybercities had wage differentials higher than 50% and three cybercities --- Austin, San Diego, and Sacramento --- had differentials higher than 100%. 

·          San Jose/Silicon Valley lead the nation with the highest concentration of tech workers, with more than one of every four private sector workers employed in the tech industry. Boulder, Colorado and Huntsville, Alabama   had the next highest concentrations of private sector tech industry workers. 

·          The New York Metro Area led the nation in high-tech employment, with nearly 317,000 tech workers in 2006, the most recent data available at the metropolitan level. 

·          Washington, DC, which includes counties from three states and the District of Columbia, ranked second with 295,800 tech industry workers in 2006.  San Jose/Silicon Valley, the heart of the tech industry, while not as large a metro area as the New York Metro Area or Washington, DC, was the third largest cybercity by number of tech industry jobs. In this report, San Jose/Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and Oakland are all considered to be separate cybercities. 

·          Boston and Dallas-Fort Worth rounded out  the nation’s top five cybercities by employment, with 191,700 and 176,000 tech industry workers in 2006, respectively. Washington, DC led the nation in jobs added between 2001 and 2006 at 7,500. Riverside-San Bernardino and Huntsville followed DC, adding 5,800 and 5,700 tech jobs during this same period, respectively. 

·          San Jose/Silicon Valley had the nation’s highest concentration of tech workers with more than one in four private sector jobs in the technology industry.  Boulder ranked second by concentration of tech workers with 23% of its private sector workforce in the tech industry.  Huntsville, Durham, and Washington, DC rounded out the top five cybercities by concentration of high-tech workers with 19, 16, and 13% of their private sector workforce in the tech industry in 2006, respectively. 

·          Of the nation’s largest cybercities (those with more than 75,000 tech workers), Seattle and Phoenix had the highest rate of growth at 6.5 and 4.3%, respectively, between 2005 and 2006.  

·          In the nation’s medium cybercities (those with between 25,000 and 75,000 tech workers) Riverside-San Bernardino and Durham were leaders by rate of growth at 11.5 and 8.4%, respectively, between 2005 and 2006. The fastest growing small cybercities (those with fewer than 25,000 tech workers) were Las Vegas, Hartford, and Richmond at 6.8, 6.2, and 5.6%, respectively, between 2005 and 2006. 

The AeA city report follows an earlier AeA report issued in the spring, that said the high-tech industry is growing in most parts of the country adding 91,400 jobs for a total of 5.9 million in the United States at the end of 2007. This is on top of job gains of 139,000 in 2006 and 87,400 in 2005. The group’s 11th annual Cyberstates 2008 survey said software services added 82,600 jobs in 2007, up for the fourth year in a row. Engineering and tech services added 45,800 jobs in 2007, also up for the fourth year in a row, putting it at an all time high.  

On the downside, high-tech manufacturing lost 29,800 net jobs in 2007. Seven of the nine tech manufacturing sectors lost jobs in 2007. Only the defense electronics and electromedical equipment sectors added jobs. The communications services sector continued to shed jobs in 2007, albeit at a slower pace, losing 7,200 compared to a loss of 16,900 in 2006. 

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