The number of technology workers in U.S. tech sector jobs rose in 2016 to 6.9 million, a 2.7 percent increase as about 182,000 workers were added, according to a recent report by trade group CompTIA. The 182,000 new jobs were about 10 percent of all new jobs added in the U.S. for the year.
The figures, which were included in CompTIA's Cyberstates 2017 annual analysis of the nation's tech industry, compare to 2015 when 6.7 million tech workers were employed in the tech sector.
Also increasing in 2016 were tech jobs inside other vertical industries, such as hospitals, banks, retail stores and utilities, where tech employment rose by about 2 percent to an estimated 7.3 million workers compared to 2015. The tech sector accounts for an estimated 8 percent, or more than about $1.3 trillion of total activity in the U.S economy, according to the report.
The highest employment increase in the tech sector in 2016 came in the IT services and custom software services category, where about 108,000 jobs were added across the nation – an increase of 4.8 percent to about 2.36 million workers for the year – Steven Ostrowski, a spokesman for the group, told ITPro.
"That's the highest increase for job growth, and the second highest year-over-year percentage increase" by category, said Ostrowski. The only category which was higher by annual growth rate in 2016 was for off-the-shelf software developers at 7.6 percent, with 25,141 jobs added for the year, bringing the total to 357,412 workers.
IT services encompasses all mobile app development, cloud related jobs and other segments, but the specific figures are not broken down by individual segments such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and more, he said. The data for the CompTIA study is pulled from private sector and governmental sources such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The study also looked at the IT employment figures on a state by state basis, which found Michigan making its way into the top 10 U.S. states for the first time, said Ostrowski.
"Michigan was up 5 percent and has been hovering near the top 10" in the past, he said. "It has replaced New Jersey in the top 10. Michigan had a nice bump in jobs, which rose 5.1 percent for the year, adding about 10,734 tech jobs.
Also notable was a 5.9 percent year-to-year increase in tech jobs in North Carolina and three of four metropolitan areas in Texas – Dallas-Forth Worth, San Antonio and Austin – showing IT job growth in 2016, he said.
California remains the nation's number one IT job market, with 1.19 million jobs in 2016, which is up 4.3 percent or 48,578 positions from 2015, according to the study. "California is number one in almost every category you can think of," said Ostrowski. "They are almost an entity unto themselves."
The top 10 states for tech sector employment are California, Texas, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Virginia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Michigan, according to CompTIA.
In general, the latest Cyberstates 2017 report "shows the strength of the industry and the fact that there is still – even with only three percent job growth over the last couple of years – there's still a demand for people," he said.
About four percent of the overall U.S. workforce is employed in the tech sector, with the annual average wage for a tech industry worker coming in at an estimated $108,900 in 2016. That's more than double the average annual national wage for non-tech-related jobs, which comes in at $53,040, according to the study.