AeA, the trade association representing the high-tech industry, released its ninth annual Cyberstates report detailing national and state trends in high-tech employment, wages, exports, and other key economic factors. The report, "Cyberstates 2006: A Complete State-by-State Overview of the High-Technology Industry," covers all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The report shows that in 2005, the high-tech industry added some 61,000 net jobs for a total of 5.6 million in the United States. This growth is an important first step in the turnaround of the high-tech industry, and represents a significant change from a previous four-year decline.

"While we are encouraged by the positive employment trend, the technology industry is focused on the long-term health of the industry, the economy and our nation," said William T. Archey, President and CEO of AeA. "Tech industry employment only grew by one percent last year compared to two percent for the U.S. private sector as a whole. To promote the creation of high-paying technology jobs for the future, we need to address the competitiveness issues facing our country, today."

In recognizing these competitiveness trends, Cyberstates 2006 shows that unemployment rates for most tech professions fell in 2005. For example, the unemployment rate for electrical engineers was 1.5 percent, the lowest rate in three years. These high-paid jobs are expected to grow significantly over the next 10 years. Nearly 1 million new computer specialists will be needed, as well as nearly 200,000 new engineers.

In specific sectors, the high-tech manufacturing industry added 3,300 net jobs in 2005, the first time tech manufacturing employment has increased since 2000. Similarly, software services and engineering and tech services employment was up in 2005 for the second year in a row. This job growth is positive news for the U.S. economy as tech industry jobs earn 85 percent more than the average private sector job.

Cyberstates 2006 shows that technology industry employment at the state level was mixed, where 25 cyberstates added tech jobs in 2004 and 27 cyberstates lost jobs. Virginia was the nation's leading state by technology employment growth, adding 9,100 jobs in 2004, the most current state data available.

The report also found that after growing in 2004, venture capital investment in the technology industry fell by five percent in 2005. This was in part attributable to a decline in venture capital investments in software.

This ninth edition of Cyberstates provides a comprehensive review of the high-tech industry nationally and state-by-state by high-tech employment, wages, payroll, establishments, and international trade. Cyberstates also offers data on venture capital investments and R&D expenditures.

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