High Tech Industry Job Creation Engine Powers Into 2016

High Tech Industry Job Creation Engine Powers Into 2016
The Total Number of Tech Workers Is Growing
Technology Contributes a Significant Share of U.S. GDP
Where Tech Hiring Is Growing the Most
It Pays to Work in Technology
An Eye on the Most Lucrative Occupations
Employers Are Seeking Qualified Candidates
The Number of Employers Is Also on the Rise
The Other Side: Unemployment Numbers
The Most Technologically Minded States
So, What's Driving All of This Success?
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High Tech Industry Job Creation Engine Powers Into 2016

Here's a look back at what the technology industry's job market looked like in 2015 and why 2016 will be yet another banner year for high tech hiring.

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The Total Number of Tech Workers Is Growing

The U.S. tech industry is growing. According to CompTIA's data, more than 6.7 million people worked in the technology industry in 2015, up from 6.5 million in 2014. In total, the U.S. technology industry added 198,200 net new jobs, helping it make up 5.7 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce last year.

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Technology Contributes a Significant Share of U.S. GDP

The combination of jobs and lofty compensation packages has helped the technology industry contribute greatly to the U.S. economy. The data shows that the technology industry makes up 7.1 percent of the overall GDP in the U.S. What's more, CompTIA found that the industry accounted for nearly 12 percent of the total compensation all workers collected across the private sector.

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Where Tech Hiring Is Growing the Most

As noted, the technology industry's job numbers were up in 2015. But CompTIA dug deeper to determine from where that growth was coming. The company found that the IT services sector added 105,400 net new jobs in 2015, easily topping all other segments. Engineering services and testing saw employment rise by more than 48,000 jobs, and the telecommunications segment was up by nearly 36,000 jobs. Tech manufacturing had the smallest employment growth, climbing by just 3,700 people.

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It Pays to Work in Technology

Those looking to have a lucrative career should look into the technology industry. The average person working in high tech in the U.S. made $105,400 in 2015, up 1.2 percent compared with 2014. In total, technology companies paid out $708 billion last year to employees, a 4.3 percent year-over-year increase. The IT services sector had the highest total payroll, reaching $232.1 billion last year.

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An Eye on the Most Lucrative Occupations

According to CompTIA, those who work in the software industry make an average of $142,500 annually, topping manufacturing workers, who make $108,100 per year. The telecommunications segment was the least lucrative, but still impressive with an average employee salary of $99,200. But wages in the telecom industry are rising faster than any other sector.

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Employers Are Seeking Qualified Candidates

Employers may have added employees to their payroll, but that hasn't slowed their hunt. CompTIA found that technology-related job openings reached 938,500 in the fourth quarter, a 29.4 percent gain compared with the fourth quarter of 2014. Software developers, computer support specialists and systems analysts are all in high demand.

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The Number of Employers Is Also on the Rise

More companies are starting up, which is helping to fuel the number of technology-related job openings. In the past year, 473,500 technology companies opened their doors, providing new jobs to technologists. The data suggests that employees are finding new job opportunities and entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the technology industry.

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The Other Side: Unemployment Numbers

Despite the strong tech job growth, unemployment is still a concern for some. But it's a lot better than it was a few years ago across the U.S. job market. In the high tech world, unemployment is downright miniscule. Based on CompTIA's data, the entire U.S. job market ended 2015 with a 5.3 percent unemployment rate. Unemployment in the technology industry, however, was just 2.6 percent at the end of the year.

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The Most Technologically Minded States

CompTIA evaluated the spread of technology jobs across the country, and where those opportunities seem to be going. The company found that California had the "largest job gains" last year, growing its number of technology workers by 59,500 people. New York was a distant second, growing its technology workforce by 15,500 people. The high tech workforce in Texas, Massachusetts and Florida grew by more than 10,000 people.

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So, What's Driving All of This Success?

The technology industry's continuing success may be attributed to several things, including broad economic trends. But CompTIA Senior Vice President Tim Herbert says that "much" of its growth is due to "cloud computing, mobility, automation and social technologies … reshaping businesses large and small." He added that the Internet of things and the growing importance of cyber-security will also help the industry's job market in the coming years.

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