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Research examines the progress and promise of the Massachusetts technology industry

The release of the 2014 State of Technology report examining the Massachusetts technology sector in terms of jobs, wages, and industry growth, revealed that the Commonwealth’s tech industry continues to grow, while also facing challenges that impede the pace of that growth.

The report, released by the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC) using data collected and analyzed by the UMass Donahue Institute’s Economic and Public Policy Research (EPPR) group, looked at different segments of the tech industry and found that while technology services, including systems design, software publishing, and internet/telecom services continue to expand, technology manufacturing has declined in terms of jobs.

“We looked at jobs, wages, and establishment numbers to determine the reach of the tech sector and found a positive picture. The state is now recording solid growth after having lagged the U.S. growth trends in the 2000s,” says Branner Stewart, the Senior Research Manager who led the study.

From 2009 to 2012, the state added about 11,000 tech jobs, a growth rate of six percent. The tech sector employs over 209,000 people and accounts for 6.5 percent of the Commonwealth’s jobs. As tech jobs require advanced skills, they tend to be highly paid, and in 2012, Massachusetts' average tech industry worker earned over $115,000, significantly contributing to the state's overall payroll growth. At the same time, the state's employment, overall, grew by less than four percent.

Led by technology services, the state’s tech sector is rebounding from the recession faster than the U.S. average for all tech industries. Technology services jobs increased by 12 percent in the Commonwealth between 2009 and 2012, a gain of 15,000 jobs. By comparison, tech services jobs in the U.S. grew by seven percent over the same three-year period.

In contrast to the growth of technology services, the state lost six percent of its tech manufacturing jobs from 2009 to 2012, a loss twice as steep as the three percent decline posted by the nation.  However, even after these declines, Massachusetts accounts for over five percent of the nation’s tech manufacturing jobs, underscoring the relative importance it maintains to the state’s economy.

“Massachusetts’ tech manufacturers are extremely advanced, both in terms of product and process, and the tech goods they produce are in demand throughout the world, “ says Stewart. “ The new tech products being developed by universities and corporations here hold a lot of promise for the future of tech manufacturing in Massachusetts. ”

Read the full report, 2014 State of Technology here (requires sign-in)

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