02 Apr Cyberstates: Wisconsin employs 80,000 in high tech
Madison, Wis. – With 81,444 people employed in high-tech industries, Wisconsin ranks in the upper half of the 50 states in high-tech employment, but those workers are not paid as well as technology workers in most other states, according to the 11th annual Cyberstates report.
The report, released Wednesday by the American Electronics Association, uses information from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2006 and 2007 to measure technology business activity. It indicates that Wisconsin ranks 21st nationally in high-tech employment, but only 34th in the average high-tech wage.
Forty-eight states, including Wisconsin, added high-tech jobs in 2006, the last full year for which employment statistics are available. Wisconsin experienced a two percent increase in high-tech jobs, as 1,609 more people filled technology positions. The fastest growing state for high-tech jobs, New Mexico, saw a 15.5 percent increase.
Thirty-four out of every 1,000 private sector workers in Wisconsin are employed in high-tech firms.
Wisconsin technology workers earn an average of $61,100, well above the $36,500 average private sector wage nationally and well above the average private sector wage in the state ($36,462), but well below the $101,189 average wage for high-tech workers in California, the top ranked state in the wage category.
The average high-tech wage nationally is $79,484.
Leading medical devices
An annual leader in the number of workers employed in medical equipment manufacturing, Wisconsin continues to fare well in that category with 5,800 jobs. That ranks third nationally behind California (13,100) and Minnesota (12,600).
In all, Wisconsin has 4,776 high-tech businesses (22nd nationally), a decline of 1.3 percent from the previous year, with a combined payroll of $4.9 billion, up 2.7 percent. This despite relatively low rankings in per capital research and development (27th) and venture capital investments (28th).
About 13,700 Wisconsin residents are employed in computer systems design and related services, 13,500 in telecommunications services, and 13,400 in engineering services.
While nationwide high-tech employment, which now stands at 5.9 million, grew for the third consecutive year, the AeA states that future growth may be jeopardized unless the U.S. does a better job preparing for what it calls “unprecedented global competitiveness challenges.” The association, which last year published a report titled “We Are Still Losing the Competitive Advantage: Now Is The Time to Act,” faults political leaders for inadequate investments in scientific research and education.
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