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Tech industry adds over 3,900 jobs in 2016

4.11.17 | WisBusiness.com | Alex Moe | Original Publication

Wisconsin’s technology industry added over 3,900 new jobs in 2016, according to a recent analytical report by CompTIA.

That’s an increase of 4 percent over 2015, bringing the total number to 101,542. Tech-related occupations in other industries rose to 148,300.

“Growth in this sector is welcome news for Wisconsin,“ said Erik Iverson, managing director for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. “WARF manages patents on behalf of UW-Madison and ranks 7th among the world’s universities in U.S. patents issued. We’re proud of that contribution to Wisconsin which is made in partnership with the talent of UW-Madison inventors.”

The tech association’s “Cyberstates 2017” report also shows the tech sector made up around 5 percent — or $15.4 billion — of the state economy. On a national level, it contributed $1.3 trillion, or 7.5 percent of the U.S. economy.

Though the state is steadily growing its technology industry, some areas still need improvement. The report ranked Wisconsin in the bottom 10 states on its Innovation Score, which takes into account new tech patents, tech startups and new tech business establishments on a per capita basis.

The greatest year-over-year job growth was seen in packaged software with 15.4 percent, and computer systems design and IT services with 8 percent.

Occupations with the highest numbers of workers were computer systems analysts with 14,410, application software developers with 11,530, and computer-controlled machine tool operators with 10,870.

The state tech industry employed about 3.6 percent of the overall state workforce, and over 10,000 tech job openings were posted in the fourth quarter of 2016. Wages for tech jobs like these were 74 percent higher than the average state wage — $79,500 compared to $45,600.

“Cyberstates 2017” was created based on analysis of data from the BLS, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and other sources.

It shows the top 10 states for tech sector employment were: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Virginia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Washington and Michigan. Though all states but three increased their base of tech businesses, Texas grew the most with 911 new establishments. Wisconsin ranked 20th.

“Digital transformation continues to be a driving force,” said Tim Herbert, senior vice president of research and market intelligence for CompTIA. “Organizations of all sizes are embracing cloud-based technology solutions, expanding their mobile presence, fortifying cyber defenses and driving decision-making through advanced data analysis.”