Julie Huls, president of the Austin Technology Council

Austin lands on a lot of lists for best place to live and work and fittest city.
But Julie Huls, president of the Austin Technology Council, is most excited Austin is being recognized nationally as a leading tech hub in a new economic development report.
The report, Technology Works: Patterns of High-Technology Employment and Wages in the United States, also highlights the Austin-San Antonio corridor as a well-defined center of high tech employment.
“It’s data driven,” Huls said. “It’s not an opinion piece. This is a snapshot of the local technology economy from a national standpoint. It ranks Austin on a national scale. Austin is now being associated with the likes of Silicon Valley, Boston and Seattle.”
ATC partner Engine Advocacy sponsored the study, which was prepared by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.
“Engine’s report provides an important validation for companies that choose to grow their products in Austin’s unique environment,” Kevin Callahan, MapMyFitness co-founder, said in a news release. “The elements that originally drew talent and capital are still here and Austin’s tech community is determined to create a new, distinct, and competitive tech ecosystem.”
The report highlights the importance of high-tech jobs to regional employment and income.
“Since the dot-com bust reached bottom in early 2004, employment growth in the high-tech sector has outpaced growth in the private sector as a whole by a ratio of 3 to 1. High-tech sector employment has also been more resilient in the recent recession-and-recovery period…. The unemployment rate for the high-tech sector workforce has consistently been far below the rate for the nation as a whole.”
The report also showed that job creation surrounding Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, known as STEM, jobs exceeds all other sectors.
“Employment growth in STEM occupations has consistently been robust throughout the last decade, outpacing job gains across all occupations by a ratio of 27 to 1 between 2002 and 2011.” The report showed growth in all occupations totaled less than a percent, whereas STEM grew 16.2 percent.
In 2011, Austin/Round Rock, with 10.7 percent of its workforce in tech jobs, claimed the No. 14th spot on the list of the top 25 Metros for high tech employment concentration in the country. The U.S. average is 5.6 percent. In comparison, San Jose had nearly 29 percent and Boston had just over 20 percent.
Austin didn’t make the list of the top 25 Metros with the highest growth in their technology workforce because it already had a large pool of high tech workers. But San Antonio made the list. It increased its high-tech workforce by 8.4 percent from 2010 to 2011, compared to the national average of 2.6 percent. From 2006 to 2011, San Antonio has seen nearly a 24 percent increase in its high-tech workforce.
Lastly, Austin has seen its high tech wages rise nearly 5 percent from 2010 to 2011, with an average wage of $101,000. Wages in San Jose, where nearly 29 percent of the jobs are tech, wages rose nearly 6 percent in the same time period and average wages were $170,000, almost $70,000 more than Austin. San Antonio’s average high-tech wage was $74,254 and 5 percent of its workforce have high-tech jobs. The average high-tech wage in Texas was $95,848, about the same as the national average.

Technology Works