Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

U.S. Tech Job Growth Was Strongest in…Oklahoma City?

The TechAmerica Foundation’s annual Cybercities report covering the state of America’s local technology job markets for 2009 (the most recent data available) paints–as you might expect–a depressing picture in all but a few of the markets surveyed.

One big surprise: The job market with the strongest growth in tech jobs–with a net gain of 900–was Oklahoma City. Don’t pack up the U-Haul just yet. Yes, it added the most technology jobs of the 60 cities in the survey, but it also had one of the smallest overall tech job pools, accounting for only 18,000 jobs, ranking 57th of the 60.

The New York statistical area, which includes New York City, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, had the largest pool of tech jobs at 317,000. It lost 8,700 jobs during the survey period, which as we all know was during the worst throes of the recession and the catastrophe that struck the data-driven financial industry. Fifty-three out of 60 cities saw job losses. Nationally, the group found that the tech industry lost about a quarter million jobs in 2009.

Statistically, the TechAmerica report considers San Francisco, Oakland and the San Jose areas as separate. But if you added them all together, tech jobs would outnumber New York at 394,000. San Jose led the nation in tech pay, at an average of $132,100 per year, and not surprisingly had the highest concentration of tech jobs as a percentage of the workforce: One job in three is tech-related.

The only markets to see job growth aside from Oklahoma City were places like Huntsville, Ala., and San Diego. You can take a look and see how different cities fared here.


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