Every state sees tech workforce gains, report says
Net employment in tech grew by 3.2% last year, with more than 9 million people now employed in the sector across technical and non-technical roles, according to new CompTIA research.
The technology industry added more than 280,000 jobs nationwide last year—a 3.2% net increase—with every state seeing employment gains in the sector, according to a new report.
That could mean that the tech talent woes that plague state and local governments could ease in the coming years, especially as training and education programs multiply.
More than 9.1 million people across the United States work in the technology sector, both in technical and non-technical jobs, according to the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). The organization found that Texas gained the most tech jobs in 2022, as it added around 45,000, followed by California (+38,186), Florida (+22,029), New York (+18,487) and Washington state (+17,962).
On a percentage change basis, the top five states for job growth in technology relative to the number of jobs available were Nevada (+6.4%), Tennessee (+6.2%), Texas (+5.5%), Washington (+5.5%) and Wyoming (+5%). Washington also had the highest concentration (9.4%) of tech workers relative to its overall employment base, meaning residents are more likely to work a tech job relative to other industry sectors. The District of Columbia (9.3%) and Virginia (8.7%) followed close behind.
CompTIA also found around 50,000 new tech jobs in what it called “under the radar” states not traditionally considered tech hubs, like South Carolina, Indiana, Alabama, Kansas and Idaho. Eighty-six percent of tech employment growth in the last five years has taken place outside of traditional powerhouse Silicon Valley, and instead in other metropolitan areas, CompTIA found.
“While the largest job gains are associated with the states with a significant tech presence, the fact that most states experienced tech employment job gains speaks to the continued broad-based impact of technology across the nation,” the report says.
The tech industry accounts for 8.8% of direct economic value, CompTIA said, which translates to over $1.97 trillion. The tech sector in 29 states generates at least $10 billion in direct economic impact for each of those states, the report said, with California’s $535.9 billion in economic impact still leading the country and accounting for 16.7% of the state’s economy.
CompTIA also estimated that the tech sector results in “downstream, indirect benefits” to states’ economies, including in creating or supporting other jobs that support the sector through direct, indirect or induced means. The association estimated, for example, that IT services and custom software development creates an additional 4.8 jobs for every one job in that subsector.
In CompTIA’s analysis, the tech workforce has two components. The first, which accounts for 61% of net tech employment, is in technical occupations like IT support, network engineering, software development, data science and other related roles. The second comprises the other 39% of employment, and refers to business professionals employed by technology companies, including those in sales, marketing, human resources, finance and operations.
The association did not include self-employed workers in its analysis, including those characterized as “gig” workers who may work for tech companies for supplementary income through ride-hailing, food delivery or as short-term rental property hosts, for example. CompTIA said in its report that there are “several uncertainties” with the data on those self-employed workers, and it wished to avoid any double counting of those who may work part-time for several different companies.
This year, the technology sector is projected to keep growing, CompTIA said, albeit at a slightly slower clip than last year. For 2023, the organization projected the country will add just over 272,000 tech jobs, an increase of 3%. Among the occupations projected to grow the most this year are data scientists and analysts (5.5%), cybersecurity analysts and engineers (5.2%), web designers and user experience specialists (4.7%), and software developers and engineers (also at 4.7%).
Technology manufacturing, which includes the production of computer hardware, peripherals, semiconductors and other equipment, is expected to add more than 13,000 jobs this year, with that increase perhaps stemming from Congress’ passage of the CHIPS and Science Act and the expected influx of microchip manufacturing facilities across the country.
The next decade should see even more dramatic growth, with the tech workforce set to grow twice as fast as the overall workforce in the United States, according to projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Lightcast.
CompTIA said there are several factors that influence projections over the course of a decade, including the need to add employees due to expansion, to support emerging technologies or to replace those who retire and also those who leave the sector for a variety of reasons, like a career change, layoffs, to start a family or to return to school.
The replacement rate for tech jobs is expected to average 7% each year, CompTIA said, with turnover expected to average 36% annually, which also accounts for worker promotions into new roles. Meanwhile, the highest job growth rates in the next decade will be among data scientists and analysts (266%), cybersecurity analysts and engineers (242%), software developers and engineers (180%) and web designers and user experience specialists (164%).
In a statement, Tim Herbert, chief research officer for CompTIA, said the numbers show that the market for tech jobs “routinely defined expectations” and shows that technology “underpins so many facets of business activity across the economy and the breadth of employers reliant on technical and digital skills.”