tech utah jobs industry states growth report
An Unexpected State With Strong Job Growth in Its Tech SectorIt’s not surprising that Washington state, with its resident corporatebehemoths like Amazon and Microsoft and Seattle’s thriving tech sector, hasposted some of the nation’s strongest technology industry job growth figuresamong states over the past decade.But another state near the top of that list may not be as obvious: Utah.The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah this weekreleased research that offers a deep dive into the state’s tech economy. Partof the report looks at how Utah and other states stack up against one anotherwhen it comes to tech industry jobs, growth, and wages.It shows that between 2008 and 2018, Utah saw average annual employment growin its tech industry by 4.9%, just shy of Washington, where the average ratewas 5%.“In terms of total employment and wages in the private sector, no state withan economy of Utah’s size had a larger tech industry in 2018,” said Levi Pace,a senior research economist at the Gardner Institute and the lead author ofthe report.The researchers also found that the tech industry job growth rate in Utah wasmore than double the growth rate in other industries there and more thantriple the rate for the entire U.S. tech sector.Checking in after Utah in the comparison of average annual job growth in thetech industry from 2008 to 2018 were: Washington, D.C. (3.1%), South Carolina(2.7%), and California (2.6%).Growth is of course just one metric to compare states by.In terms of total tech jobs in 2018, the report shows that California leadsthe pack, with 963,400 jobs in the sector. Texas is next (491,100), then NewYork (316,900), Florida (278,700) and Washington (245,200).Utah ranked 22nd in 2018 among states when comparing them based on overalltech jobs, with 80,200 positions in the sector. But the researchers say itranked fifth when comparing the share of tech jobs in a state to otherindustries in each place—in Utah the share was 6.4%The highest share of tech jobs compared to other industries was in Washington(8.7%). It was followed by Virginia (7.5%), Massachusetts (6.6%) andCalifornia (6.5%).Elsewhere in the report, in sections not comparing states, the researchers saythat direct employment in Utah’s tech industry was around 118,000 jobs in2018. But this includes around 34,700 self-employed workers in partnerships orsole proprietorships.The sections looking across states relied on a simplified approach to makeconsistent comparisons and do not include self-employed workers in the totaljobs figure.Software providers, makers of computers and related devices, and onlineretailers were some of the types of businesses that the researchers foldedinto their analysis of the tech industry.They did not focus on in-house workers, like IT staff, at companies notprimarily focused on technology.Utah’s largest employers in the tech sector include businesses like aerospaceand defense equipment maker L3 Technologies, the software company Adobe, ClearLink, which is a telecommunications firm, online retailer eBay, and thesemiconductor company IM Flash.Jobs in the industry pay relatively well. The report says average yearly payfor Utah tech sector jobs was about $106,100 in 2018. It was around $58,500 inother industries.Utah ranked third among states in terms of its growth rate between 2008 and2018 for total employee wages paid by tech companies, with an average annualincrease of 6.9%.Ahead of Utah on this metric were Washington (9.6%) and California (7.1%). NewYork (4.6%) and D.C. (4.5%) rounded out the top five.Much of the tech sector activity in Utah is concentrated in the Salt Lake Cityregion. But of the state’s 29 counties, the report says 28 had at least onetech company.A full copy of the report can be found here.