The tech industry continues to expand, with US employment in the field growing by about 3% in 2016, according to a new report from CompTIA. Nearly 7 million tech workers are employed in the US today, the report stated.
The tech sector represents about 8% of total activity in the US economy—more than $1.3 trillion, according to CompTIA. The report is based on data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, and other sources.
"These numbers affirm the strength and vitality of the US tech industry, and attest to its essential standing in the economy," said Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA, in a press release. "Technology enables innovation and generates growth for companies, regardless of their size, locale or markets served."
The 10 states with the highest rates of employment in the tech sector are CA, TX, NY, FL, MA, VA, IL, PA, WA, and MI, CompTIA found.
The average annual salary for a tech industry worker in 2016 was an estimated $108,900—more than double the average national wage of $53,040.
US tech businesses also grew, for the fifth consecutive year. Some 47 states added new tech companies, for a new US total of 492,550. Texas saw the greatest increase in new tech enterprises, adding 911.
Thirty-five states plus the District of Columbia created positive tech sector growth in 2016, while 15 states saw declines. In terms of job growth measured by percentage change, the fastest-growing states for tech employment in 2016 were Utah (6%), North Carolina (5.9%), Michigan (5.1%), Washington (4.9%), and Montana (4.5%).
"Tech sector employment outpaces other notable segments of the economy, including construction, finance and insurance, transportation and warehousing, and arts, entertainment and recreation," said Tim Herbert, senior vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA, in a press release.
About 60% of all 2016 tech job gains occurred in IT services and custom software services, Herbert said in the press release. The most new tech businesses last year were also in this area, the report found, with more than 5,000 companies created. This sub-sector has experienced a job growth rate of 24% over the past five years.
"Digital transformation continues to be a driving force," Herbert said in the release. "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."
Indeed, digital transformation efforts are underway at a majority of companies. And since these efforts are costly—more than half of companies spend at least $1 million on these projects—they create further room for tech sector growth.
Despite the job growth, the tech skills gap remains a problem: Past research from CompTIA found that at least eight in 10 US businesses are negatively impacted by a lack of technology talent.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
1. Jobs in the US tech industry grew about 3% in 2016, bringing the total number of tech workers to nearly 7 million, according to a new report from CompTIA.
2. These tech jobs have lucrative salaries, with average annual wages in the industry last year reaching an estimated $108,900—more than double the average national wage of $53,040.
3. Digital transformation is driving much of the industry's growth, the report found.
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Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.