Tech-related employment in Utah grew by nearly 6,000 jobs in 2018 and the tech sector increased its contribution to the state’s economy, according to “Cyberstates 2019,” a new report on the tech sector and tech workforce analytics published by CompTIA, an Illinois-based industry association.

Net tech employment grew by an estimated 5,914 in 2018 and has grown by more than 40,000 jobs since 2010, the report said. With an estimated 143,000 workers, tech accounts for approximately 9.3 percent of the Utah workforce.

The tech sector has an estimated direct economic impact of $17.7 billion, or about 11.4 percent of Utah’s total economy, according to CompTIA.

“Given Utah’s combination of innovative companies, a well-educated workforce and an unsurpassed quality of life, it is not surprising that tech companies are improving their bottom line by expanding in Utah,” said Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.

“Clearly the broad-based impact of the tech industry touches virtually every community, industry and market across Utah, especially when you consider the hundreds of thousands of knowledge workers who rely on technology to do their jobs,” said Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA.

The outlook for employment growth remains positive, the report found. In 2018, Utah saw a 111 percent increase in the number of job postings related to emerging technologies, such as the internet of things, smart cities, drones, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality and blockchain.

Cyberstates projects the base of tech occupation employment, a subset of net tech employment, will grow by 21.8 percent in Utah by 2026. Retirements will add even more pressure to meet the need for tech talent.

“The findings attest to a tech labor market that will remain tight as employers balance short-term needs with an eye towards the future,” said Tim Herbert, senior vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. “As digital-human models begin to unfold, employers and employees alike will face new challenges and opportunities in shaping the workforce of tomorrow.”

The Cyberstates report found that Utah is 25th nationwide in net tech employment; 14th in net tech jobs added last year; and 17th in the Cyberstates Innovation Score, which is based on venture capital investments, tech startups and new business formations and other factors.

Tech occupations with year-over-year growth in Utah included software and web developers (up 5.1 percent); computer support specialists (up 4.7 percent); and network architects, administrators and support specialists (up 2.5 percent).

Cyberstates also said that the median tech occupation wage in Utah is $74,827 — 88 percent higher than the median wage for all occupations in the state.

The Cyberstates 2019 report is based on CompTIA’s analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Emsi Labor Market Data, Burning Glass Technologies Labor Insights and other sources. 

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