TechAmerica Foundation : Virginia Has the Nation’s Highest Concentration of Tech Workers

Virginia Has the Nation’s Highest Concentration of Tech Workers

Stephanie Craig, Director of Communications
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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.

Virginia’s tech industry shrank one percent, losing 2,800 jobs for a total of 277,600 in 2010. Virginia continues to be the national leader in terms of high-tech employment concentration, with 9.8 percent of its private sector workforce in the tech industry.  The average wage for these jobs was $95,900– over twice as much as the average private sector job in Virginia.

The state’s largest high-tech sector is computer systems design and related services which employs 138,800 workers, added 900 jobs in 2010, and was ranked 2nd nationwide, after California.  The state also gained tech jobs in the R&D and testing labs sector (+1,600 jobs), but lost jobs in the Internet and telecommunication services sector (-4,200 jobs).

“Despite the onset of the recession, Virginia’s tech industry still managed to add jobs in 2008, marking its sixth consecutive year of growth,” said Olga Grkavac, Executive Vice President, Public Sector of TechAmerica.  “But if any state is positioned to stave off tech job loss, it is Virginia.  More than 75 percent of the tech industry is concentrated in software and engineering and tech services – the sectors driving growth of the technology industry, and least affected by the recession. With so much of the technology focusing on the federal government, policymakers need to understand the vital role technology plays when considering federal IT budgets and their impact on efficient, effective government and the state of Virginia.”

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 Virginia?

  • 277,600 high-tech workers in 2010 (4th ranked cyberstate)
  • 2,800 jobs lost between 2009 and 2010
  • High-tech firms employed 98 of every 1,000 private sector workers in 2010, ranked 1st nationwide
  • High-tech workers earned an average wage of $95,500 (5th ranked), or 101 percent more than Virginia’s average private sector wage
  • A high-tech payroll of $26.6 billion in 2010, ranked 4th nationwide
  • 17,300 high-tech establishments in 2010, ranked 6th nationwide

Virginia’s National Industry Sector Rankings:

  • 2nd in computer systems design and related services employment with 138,800 jobs
  • 3rd in engineering services employment with 50,900 jobs
  • 8th in internet and telecommunications services employment with 44,200 jobs

Source: Cyberstates 2011

Data are for 2010 unless otherwise noted.

Published by TechAmerica Foundation

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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.