Colorado's concentration of high-tech jobs ranks third in nation Read more: Colorado's concentratio
Friday, October 7, 2011
Posted by: Wendy Nkomo
POSTED:10/05/2011 01:00:00 AM MDT
UPDATED:10/05/2011 08:34:32 AM MDT
Read more:Colorado's concentration of high-tech jobs ranks third in nation - The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_19042173#ixzz1a78TDVQl
Colorado tied for third in the nation for its concentration of high-tech workers, according to new report that examines the size and scope of the technology industry by state.
Colorado had 156,900 high-tech workers in 2010, and its high-tech payroll of $14.2 billion ranked 12th nationwide, according to the Cyberstates 2011 report from the TechAmerica Foundation.
Christian Dwyer, general manager of Denver-based MapQuest, called the report "terrific news."
"High tech is critical," he said. "It is the basis of all the inventions that are being created."
He said the Front Range has a "deep bench" of skilled high-tech workers that companies can tap.
"It is just great to be able to call on that expertise," Dwyer said. "We love the talent that exists on the Front Range (and) the healthy lifestyle."
The report ranked states on a variety of measures, including total number of high-tech employees, total number of high-tech firms and total high-tech payroll.
It said one way to look at the importance of the high-tech industry to a state's economy is to examine its ratio of high-tech workers to total private-sector workers.
Virginia had 98 high-tech workers per 1,000 private-sector workers. Massachusetts, with 91, came in second, followed by Colorado, with 87, which tied Maryland.
The average tech worker in Colorado earned $90,800 in 2010, or 96 percent more than the average private-sector wage, according to the study.
Alexandra Hall, chief economist for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, said the state categorizes its "high tech" sector as "advanced technology."
She said Colorado currently has 172,600 employees in the advanced-technology sector, which includes seven areas — among them computer and electronic manufacturing, transportation-equipment manufacturing, and software publishing.
"It pays really good," Hall said. "High tech drives employment in other
sectors. Through (high-tech employees') spending, they are creating jobs in the support-services sector."
From left, Jeremy Tanner, Megan Alpert and Andy Miller meet at MapQuest's headquarters. The company's general manager called high tech "the basis of all the inventions that are being created."
But she noted the sector was impacted by the recession, with job losses of about 15,000.
And given the current economic situation, Hall said she believes it will be "slow going" for the high-tech sector, which she said never recovered from the dot-com bust.
The report added a similar note of caution.
It said that in 2010, Colorado's high-tech industry had the seventh-largest decrease in jobs, with a net job loss of 5,300.
Jeff Clark, vice president of governmental affairs for TechAmerica, said that Colorado's high-tech industry continues to be one of the cornerstones of the state's economy.
"Nevertheless, we did lose tech jobs in 2010," Clark said. "Colorado must continue to invest in math and science education to have a pipeline of qualified workers to attract technology companies to Colorado."
Howard Pankratz: 303-954-1939 firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more:Colorado's concentration of high-tech jobs ranks third in nation - The Denver Posthttp://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_19042173#ixzz1a78J81q3