TechAmerica Foundation : California High-Tech Workers Earn Highest Wage in the Nation – $110,600

California High-Tech Workers Earn Highest Wage in the Nation – $110,600

Stephanie Craig, Director of Communications
202.682.4443 or

Josh James, Vice President, Research and Industry Analysis
202.682.4422 or

Washington, DC (October 5, 2011) – TechAmerica Foundation today released its 14th annual Cyberstates report detailing national and state trends in high-tech employment, wages, and other key economic factors.  Cyberstates 2011: The Definitive State-by-State Analysis of the U.S. High-Tech Industry covers all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

California’s high-tech industry lost 18,100 net jobs for an industry total of 931,000 in 2010.  Among sectors that did add tech jobs in 2010 were R&D and testing labs (+6,500) and computer systems design and related services (+2,800 jobs).

California continued to lead the nation by most high-tech industry metrics including employment, wages, payroll, and establishments.  California’s tech workers had the highest average wage at $110,600, 119 percent more than the state’s average private sector wage

“California remains the undisputed leader of the technology industry in the United States and Silicon Valley is the heart of that,” said Tim Guertin, President and CEO, Varian Medical Systems.  “California did see job growth in 2010 in promising sectors such as software and R&D, and we continue to have the highest tech wages in the country.  State officials need to focus on making California a more competitive place to do business through education reform that produces more children pursuing math and science and through tax and regulation reform that makes the state more business friendly.”

Nationally, the U.S. high-tech industry did lose115,800 jobs in 2010, but still boasts 5.75 million workers.  Showing an improving trend, this two percent decline was less than half of the 249,500 jobs lost in 2009 following several years of sustained growth.  Software services added jobs in 2010 – 22,800, a gain of one percent.

TechAmerica Foundation also today released a midyear jobs report for 2011 based on a different monthly data set from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  This report shows that between January and June 2011, the tech industry added a net 115,000 jobs, a two percent gain, not adjusted for seasonality.  During this time period, job growth occurred in all four technology industry sectors, with the fastest growth in engineering and tech services.  A 12 month review of June 2010 in comparison with June 2011 also shows growth in three of the four tech industry sectors, with job losses occurring in communication services.

Cyberstates 2011 may be purchased for $150.  The 2011 midyear report may be freely downloaded. Both reports can be accessed at:

What Does High Tech Mean for California?

  • 931,000 high-tech workers in 2010 (1st ranked cyberstate)
  • 18,100  jobs lost between 2009 and 2010, ranked 52nd nationwide
  • High-tech firms employed 78 of every 1,000 private sector workers in 2010, ranked 7th nationwide
  • High-tech workers earned an average wage of $110,600 (1st ranked), or 119 percent more than California’s average private sector wage
  • A high-tech payroll of $102.9 billion in 2010, ranked 1st nationwide
  • 42,000 high-tech establishments in 2010, ranked 1st nationwide

California’s National Industry Sector Rankings:

  • 1st in computer systems design and related services employment with 197,800 jobs
  • 1st in internet and telecommunications services employment with 149,300 jobs
  • 1st in R&D and testing labs employment with 134,700 jobs
  • 1st in engineering services employment with 101,500 jobs

Source: Cyberstates 2011

Data are for 2010 unless otherwise noted.

Published by TechAmerica Foundation

- # # # -

About TechAmerica Foundation

TechAmerica Foundation educates industry executives, policy makers and opinion leaders on the promise of technological innovation to advance prosperity, security and the general welfare. Launched in 1981, the Foundation is a 501c(3) non-profit, non-partisan affiliate of TechAmerica, which is the leading voice and resource for the U.S. technology industry. The Foundation disseminates award-winning industry, policy and market research covering topics such as U.S. competitiveness in a global economy, innovation in government, and other areas of national interest. It also organizes conferences and seminars to explore pertinent issues with government and industry representatives and to share the Foundation’s findings.