TechAmerica: US tech employment grows slightly in 2012

Tech jobs increased by 1.1 percent during the year, with 39 states seeing more tech workers

The U.S. tech industry added 67,400 jobs in 2012, a 1.1 percent increase from a year earlier, according to a new report from the TechAmerica Foundation.

The tech industry's growth slightly outpaced the overall private sector in the U.S., which grew by 1 percent, TechAmerica said Tuesday. U.S tech employment totalled 5.95 million in 2012, said the foundation, the research arm of trade group TechAmerica.

Three of four tech industry sectors defined by the foundation saw growth in 2012, said the foundation's Cyberstates 2013 report. Software services drove the vast majority of growth during the year, adding a net 63,900 jobs, compared to 11,300 jobs added in engineering and tech services and 1,800 added in Internet and telecommunication services. 

Tech manufacturing had a net decline in employment, dropping by 9,500 jobs.

Tech jobs represented 5.4 percent of the nation's private sector workforce, and the tech industry paid an average of US$93,800, compared to the average private sector wage of $47,400, the foundation said. The tech industry's $558 billion payroll accounts for 10.8 percent of the U.S. private sector payroll, the foundation said.

Thirty-nine states saw a net increase in tech employment in 2012, with the largest increase in California with 17,700 jobs, Texas with 10,000 jobs and New York with 8,400 jobs. The fastest rates of growth were in North Dakota, Michigan and Missouri, all with more than 3 percent growth.

The top states for tech employment in 2012 were California (968,800), Texas (485,600), New York (318,200), Virginia (285,400), and Florida (270,900), the report said.

As in the past, Virginia continued to lead the nation in concentration of high-tech workers in 2012, with 9.8 percent of its private sector workforce employed in the tech industry.

California's tech industry workers were paid the highest annual average wage of $123,900 in 2012, followed by Massachusetts, at $116,000, and Washington state at $110,200.

California was the top state for employment numbers in 12 of 15 tech industry sectors, but other states had strong concentrations in some tech fields. Minnesota ranked first in electromedical equipment manufacturing, and Washington ranked first in software publishers, the report said. 

Virginia ranked second in computer systems design, and Massachusetts ranked second in measuring and control instruments manufacturing and in R&D and testing labs.

 

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

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