TechAmerica Foundation : Tech Industry Employment Grows in 2012

Tech Industry Employment Grows in 2012

39 States Add Jobs in 2012

Washington, DC The TechAmerica Foundation today released the 15th edition of Cyberstates, the only comprehensive look at  tech employment, wages, and other key economic factors nationally and state-by-state.  Cyberstates 2013: The Definitive State-by-State Analysis of the U.S. Tech Industry covers all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

The U.S. tech industry added 67,400 net jobs in 2012, for bringing the total number of tech workers to 5.95 million.  This 1.1 percent increase in tech industry employment represents the second year of growth, and was higher than the overall private sector, which grew at 1.0 percent.

“The tech industry’s contribution to the economy continues to be significant.  Tech industry jobs represent 5.4 percent of the private sector workforce and pay higher average salaries,” said Matthew Kazmierczak, Vice President of the TechAmerica Foundation and author of Cyberstates.  “Tech industry wages paid, on average, 98 percent more than the average private sector wage, $93,800 compared with $47,400. And, the $558 billion in tech industry payroll accounts for 10.8 percent of the entire private sector payroll.”

Of the four industry sectors that make up the tech industry, three of them experienced employment growth in 2012. Software services accounted for the bulk of the job growth for the tech industry overall, adding a net 63,900 jobs, compared with the 11,300 jobs added in engineering and tech services and the 1,800 added in Internet and telecommunication services.  Tech manufacturing had a net decline in employment, with employment dropping by 9,500 jobs.

Cyberstates 2013’s state-by-state data reveal that 39 states had a net increase in tech employment in 2012.  The largest gains occurred in California (+17,700), Texas (+10,000), New York (+8,400), Michigan (+6,200), and Georgia (+4,500).  On a percent basis, the fastest rate of growth was in North Dakota (+4.1%), Michigan (+3.8%), and Missouri (+3.1%).   The largest states by employment continued to be California, Texas, and New York.

“When we examine tech employment concentration, which controls for population size, what might surprise many is that Virginia is the leading technology state in the nation with one out of every 10 private sector jobs employed by tech companies,” continued Mr. Kazmierczak. “Virginia was also the 4th largest state by straight tech employment with 272,000 workers.”

While California was the leading state for 12 of the 15 tech industry sectors, many other states showed their tech cluster in specific areas. Minnesota with its strong medical technology industry ranked first in electromedical equipment manufacturing, and Washington ranked first in software publishers.  Virginia was ranked second in computer systems design, and Massachusetts ranked second in measuring and control instruments manufacturing and in R&D and testing labs.

“Cyberstates shows the tremendous value of the tech industry to the U.S. economy,” said Shawn Osborne, Chairman of the TechAmerica Foundation and President and CEO of TechAmerica.  “The future of the U.S. economy is based on a strong and vibrant technology sector. To ensure that bright future, policymakers at all levels must address the core issues that underpin the success of U.S. technology companies like reforming high-skilled immigration and focusing on STEM education.  We must employ the best to continue to be the best. Our future depends on it.”

Cyberstates 2013 relies on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report provides 2012 national and state-by-state data on tech employment, wages, establishments, payroll, wage differential, and employment concentration. All data are the most recent available at the time of production.  2012 data are derived from the first and second quarters of 2012.

Cyberstates 2013 Key National Findings

  •  U.S. tech employment totaled 5.95 million in 2012.
  • Tech employment was up in 2012 by 67,400, or by 1.1 percent.
  • The Internet and telecommunication services sector inched up by 1,800 jobs in 2012.
  • The software services sector added 63,900 jobs in 2012, a 3.5 percent increase.
  • The engineering and tech services sector added 11,300 jobs in 2012, a 0.7 percent increase.
  • The tech industry paid an annual average wage of $93,800 in 2012, 98 percent more than the average private sector wage of $47,400.
  • Tech industry annualized payroll totaled $558 billion in 2012. While three tech manufacturing sectors added jobs in 2012, six other tech manufacturing sectors lost jobs.  Overall tech manufacturing employment fell by 0.8 percent, losing 9,500 net jobs between 2011 and 2012.


U.S. Tech Employment

Tech Sectors



Percent Change

Numeric Change

Tech Manufacturing





Internet and Telecom Services





Software Services





Engineering and Tech Services





Total Tech Employment





Cyberstates 2013 Key State Findings

  •  The leading states by high-tech employment in 2012 were California (968,800), Texas (485,600), New York (318,200), Virginia (285,400), and Florida (270,900).
    California, Texas, and New York also were the leading job creating states, adding 17,700, 10,000, and 8,400 jobs, respectively in 2012.
  • By rate of growth, North Dakota (+4.1%), Michigan (+3.8%), and Missouri (+3.1%) led the nation.
  • Virginia continued to lead the nation in concentration of high-tech workers in 2012, with 9.8 percent of its private sector workforce employed by tech.
  • California’s tech industry workers were paid the highest annual average wage of $123,900 in 2012, followed by Massachusetts ($116,000) and Washington ($110,200).
  • Eight states had tech wages that were on average more than twice that of the overall private sector wage.  They are, in order of highest differential, California, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, New Mexico, Virginia, Arizona, and North Carolina.


Source: Cyberstates 2013

Data are for 2012 unless otherwise noted.