U.S. tech sector employment grew by nearly 3 percent in 2016, approaching seven million workers, according to Cyberstates 2017™, by CompTIA.

Technology occupations across all other industries – the second component of the nation’s technology workforce – increased by 2 percent, to an estimated 7.3 million workers, in 2016.

The tech sector accounts for an estimated 8 percent – more than $1.3 trillion – of total activity in the U.S economy.

“These numbers affirm the strength and vitality of the U.S. tech industry, and attest to its essential standing in the economy,” said Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO, CompTIA. “Technology enables innovation and generates growth for companies, regardless of their size, locale or markets served.”

The top 10 states for tech sector employment are California, Texas, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Virginia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Michigan.

Among other key findings:

  • The tech sector employs approximately 4 percent of the total U.S. workforce and 5 percent of the private sector workforce.

  • The annualized average wage for a tech industry worker was an estimated $108,900 in 2016, more than double the average national wage ($53,040).

  • 35 states and the District of Columbia generated positive tech sector job growth in 2016, while 15 states experienced declines.

  • Notable employment gains were recorded in California, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Michigan.

  • The top five states for 2016 job growth on a percentage change basis were Utah (6 percent), North Carolina (5.9 percent), Michigan (5.1 percent), Washington (4.9 percent), and Montana (4.5 percent).

  • The number of tech startups and new tech business establishments increased by 12 percent in 2015 (the most recent year of available data).

  • U.S. tech business establishments grew for the fifth consecutive year, to 492,550 in 2016. Nearly every state (47) added to their base of tech businesses, with Texas (911 new establishments) leading the way.

  • Since 2010, the tech sector has recorded a net gain of 864,420 jobs.

“Tech sector employment outpaces other notable segments of the economy, including construction, finance and insurance, transportation and warehousing, and arts, entertainment and recreation,” said Tim Herbert, senior vice president, research and market intelligence, CompTIA.

Herbert noted that about 60 percent of 2016 job gains occurred in IT services and custom software services. This category was also responsible for adding the most new tech business establishments in 2016 – more than 5,000 companies. Over the past five years this sub-sector has added an estimated 48,826 new business establishments, a growth rate of 24 percent. 

“Digital transformation continues to be a driving force,” Herbert said. “Organizations of all sizes are embracing cloud-based technology solutions, expanding their mobile presence, fortifying cyber defenses and driving decision-making through advanced data analysis.”