Everyone knows that the tech and innovation industry is important to Utah’s economy. But a new study from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah has put numbers to that importance.{mprestriction ids="1,3"}

The research, which was released recently on Utah’s Capitol Hill at the annual “Tech Day at the Legislature,” shows Utah’s tech economy supports one in seven Utah jobs, pays annual compensation 75 percent higher than other industries and has increased employment at more than twice the national rate over the past decade.

“Utah’s tech companies compete on a big stage when it comes to software, IT services, devices and e-commerce,” said Levi Pace, senior research analyst at the Gardner Policy Institute and lead researcher on the study. “From startups to billion-dollar valuations, Silicon Slopes’ companies connect Utah to the global innovation economy and are a key component of Utah’s recent economic success.”

Highlights from the research include:

• Utah and U.S. job growth. Job growth in Utah’s tech industry averaged 3.6 percent a year from 2007 to 2017, more than double employment growth in the tech industry nationwide.

• Economic impact. Total economic impact during 2017 exceeded 302,000 jobs at companies that paid $20.1 billion in earnings and generated $29.9 billion in GDP.

• Spending. In-state spending by tech companies and workers supported nearly 186,000 Utah jobs outside the tech industry.

• Jobs and GDP. Tech companies in Utah directly and indirectly supported more than one in seven Utah jobs (15.2 percent) and over one-sixth of state GDP (17.6 percent).

• Compensation.  Average annual compensation was $102,000 in the tech industry, 75 percent higher than the $58,400 per job in other industries.

The study was released as part of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development’s annual spotlight on the tech industry. The Utah Legislature funded the research so decision-makers could better understand the contributions of this industrial sector.

Three Utah trade associations — Silicon Slopes, the Utah Technology Council and the Women Tech Council — as well as GOED, the Utah Department of Workforce Services and EDCUtah contributed to the study’s methodology, data collection and preliminary findings. A more comprehensive report will be released in July, once company data is available for 2018.

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