Utah Tops Fastest-Growing Tech States
Although people tend to focus on California as the nation’s tech hub, other states have grown their respective tech industries at a healthy clip over the past few years. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Utah added the greatest percentage of tech jobs in the first six months of 2016. Michigan, Alabama, and Illinois followed in second, third, and fourth place, respectively. (Although California gained more than 10,000 jobs in the first half of 2016, its already-gargantuan number of tech employees means that it came in fifth.) Salt Lake City is frequently cited as a rising tech hub, thanks to a combination of low taxes, local schools funneling skilled workers into the market, suitable infrastructure for business, and a vibrant startup community. The other states in the upper portion of the list, including Michigan and Illinois, feature cities with a similarly strong mix of new and mature tech firms, service providers, and sizable talent pools. As many of these states maintain their high rankings quarter after quarter, it’s clear that their local tech industries are very much sustainable. Here are some key states that experienced some level of tech-job growth over the first six months of the year: Utah (7.69%) Michigan (6.22%) Alabama (5.58%) Illinois (4.81%) California (3.42%) Massachusetts (2.71%) Georgia (1.81%) Maryland (1.13%) Missouri (1.11%) Nebraska (0.83%) Colorado (0.74%) Oregon (0.68%) North Carolina (0.60%) Florida (0.12%) Some states also lost jobs, as well, although many percentages were incremental: Virginia (-0.39%) New Jersey (-0.55%) Pennsylvania (-1.03%) New York (-1.21%) Minnesota (-2.71%) Ohio (-3.41%) The technology industry’s unemployment rate rose slightly in the second quarter of 2016, hitting 2.1 percent, according to the BLS. Across the nation, there’s clearly a continuing demand for tech pros with the right mix of background and skills. When it comes to adding actual jobs, though, not all states are on equal footing at the moment.