Tech Jobs Map Highlights Interesting ‘Hot Spots’

    A new county-by-county interactive map of tech jobs makes it pretty fun to try to figure out which employer makes one county rank higher than others. (Warning: This graphic can be a real time drain.)

    For instance, why does Washita County in Oklahoma have a higher percentage of tech jobs (5 percent) than Tulsa County (4 percent)? Why does Kansas score better overall than Oklahoma?

    But the graphic, part of a report by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute (BACEI) and Engine Advocacy makes the point that tech jobs aren’t solely in Silicon Valley. Washington comes out on top among states with 11 percent concentration of tech jobs and 5.8 percent job growth. It also finds cities such as Dayton, Ohio and Troy, Mich., with technology employment exceeding 10 percent in 2011, GeekWire reports.

    This “short report” will be part of a longer one coming later detailing not only tech’s resilience during the recent economic downturn, but also the importance of tech to the overall economy, according to Politico. It quotes Mike McGeary, political director and senior strategist at Engine Advocacy, saying:

    Tech is leading the way in terms of recovery and growth. It presents some policy challenges. It highlights some of the issues the tech industry will face such as high-skilled visas and putting necessary resources for science, math and engineering education. We don’t want to slip in the next 10 years.

    The report looks at jobs in computer hardware, software, systems design, and information; communications and electronics equipment; Internet publishing and Web search portals; data hosting and processing services; pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing; aerospace manufacturing; architecture and engineering services; and research and development services.

    Among the findings:

    • At least 61 percent of counties had at least some high-tech jobs in 2011.
    • Metro areas with the fastest-growing high-tech jobs are geographically and economically diverse.
    • In 2009, more than 72 percent of counties had at least one new high-tech business.

    And according to the report:

    We aim to show that technology doesn’t just create jobs for engineers and computer scientists, but managers, designers, salespeople, and executives as well. …

    Our research aims to think critically about how technology, the Internet, and entrepreneurship shape our economy. The first step is to dispel a few misconceptions about the location of tech jobs. Going forward, the analysis will provide insight into labor trends and their impact on public policy.

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