Employment in North Carolina’s information technology sector surged by nearly 30 percent from 2010 to 2015, the fastest growth in IT jobs in the U.S. over the period, according to the 2017 North Carolina State of Technology Industry Report. And two recent blockbuster expansions in the state suggest that pace won’t be slowing anytime soon.
In July, Infosys, an India-based consulting and IT services company, revealed its selection of North Carolina’s Research Triangle area for a new tech hub that will create 2,000 jobs. Infosys already employs over 1,000 workers in North Carolina. Two months earlier, Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse announced a planned 1,200-job expansion of its Durham tech hub. Roughly 40 percent of those jobs will provide IT support for the company’s existing and emerging divisions.
The number of IT workers in the state increased 28.4 percent from 2010-2015, according to the report issued earlier this year by the North Carolina Technology Association. The group’s membership includes more than 700 tech-intensive companies operating in the state.
Information technology is one category of overall tech-industry employment. The annual report also examined energy technology, environmental technology and life sciences industries.
Across all categories, the state’s tech industry jobs grew 20.6 percent from 2010-2015, the nation’s third-highest growth rate and well above the 10.9 percent national average, the report says. More than 18,200 technology establishments operated in North Carolina in 2015.
Here are a few additional highlights from the report:
- The IT Factor. IT employment in North Carolina grew at twice the national rate from 2010-2015. North Carolina’s 28.4 percent growth not only made it the national leader, but also pushed it above Utah, which was No. 1 in IT sector growth during the prior five-year period.
- The IQ Factor. North Carolina’s opportunities for higher education offer tech employers a deep pool of talent. The state ranks No. 4 in the U.S. in dollars awarded for academic science and research and development.
- Technology Transfer. The number of university-spawned tech startups is one indication of whether a state’s educational system supports an entrepreneurial climate. In 2015, 36 tech startups spun off from the state’s universities, the seventh-highest state total in the U.S.
- Crucial to the Economy. The state’s technology sector has a 3:1 employment multiplier effect, meaning that each single tech-sector job supports two other jobs across all industries in the state.
- Women in the Workforce: North Carolina ranks No. 1 among all states in the percentage of women in the overall tech industry workforce: 36.3 percent of the workforce. Improvements need to be made, however, in the representation of minorities in the workforce, the report says.
- Higher Purchasing Power: North Carolina’s average salary within the tech industry is less than the national average of $120,326. But once you adjust for purchasing power, the median hourly wage for tech occupations in North Carolina ranks seventh among all states. For example, the typical North Carolina tech worker earns around $37 an hour vs. the California median of roughly $46 an hour. However, when purchasing power is factored in, the wages are virtually the same at $41 per hour.
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