by Jarina D'Auria

High-Tech Workers Earned Much More in Recent Years, Study Shows

Jul 09, 20083 mins
IT Leadership

American Electronics Association study found technology workers earned 87 percent more than average U.S. employees. New York City and Silicon Valley are top regions for high-tech jobs.

High-tech workers have fared well in recent years, according to the new analysis of 2006 federal labor data by the American Electronics Association. The vast majority of the U.S.’s most technology-centered cities (51 out of 60) experienced job growth and each tech-worker earned 87 percent more than the average worker, the AeA’s report found.

The report, based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, allows high-tech employees to compare their city to others in the nation, as well as to other regions in their area. In the states that have “tech clusters,” such as California and Texas, the report allows these employees to compare their workforce to those in their own city, in a different city, across the region and also the nation. Because the most recent data is two years old, it does not take into account the recent economic downturn.

The New York Metro Area and Silicon Valley came out on top in most of the survey’s categories. Since 2001, the New York Metro Area has had the highest high-tech employment, including in 2006 with 317,000 tech workers. The area also had the most high-tech establishments, with 20,200. San Jose/the Silicon Valley had the highest payroll of $32.6 billion, paid their workers the most with a $144,800 average annual salary, and had the highest concentration of high-tech workers, with 286 per every 1,000 workers. Other high-ranking cities include Seattle, that added 7,800 high-tech jobs between 2005 and 2006 and Austin had the highest increase in pay, by $8,100, from $92,400 in 2005 to $100,500 in 2006.

The map below shows highlights from the AeA study for high-tech employment and wages. Click on each city to read more about their standing in these categories.

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Although the cities with the most high-tech workers vary drastically by many factors, they all have one thing in common: an emphasis on education for their tech-savvy population. The New York Metro Area, Washington D.C., San Jose/Silicon Valley, Boston and Dallas/Fort Worth (in that order) top the list because they provide an area with universities with solid research components and provide the business arena for high-tech workers to take part in.

Using the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor for metropolitan areas, AeA examines the top 60 cities in the nation — dubbed “cybercities” — on their employment, establishments, wages, payroll, employment concentration and wage differential for the year 2006. The cities were chosen by the U.S. government’s definition of a metropolitan area, a place with population centers of 50,000 or more people and if they had at least 17,000 high-tech jobs.

If you’re interested in reading highlights or viewing sample pages, visit the AeA website for more information. To receive a full copy of the study, the cost is $125 for AeA members and $250 for non-members.