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PPI Tech/Info Job Ranking, 2009-2013

By / 3.5.2015

In October 2013 PPI released the first PPI Tech/info Job Ranking. In that report, we ranked counties by the strength of their tech/information sector. We found that “places with strong tech/information growth had survived the recession much better than their counterparts.”

This blog item updates that earlier report, and provides our latest Tech/Info Job Ranking (these are the figures cited in the 3/5/2015 New York Times article entitled “What Is the Next ‘Next Silicon Valley’?”) In particular now we focus on the recovery years, from 2009 to 2013. In order to quantify the link between the tech/information sector and overall growth, we construct a new version of the PPI Tech/Info Job Index. For each of 214 large and medium-size counties, the Index measures the number of new tech/information jobs between 2009 and 2013, as a share of 2009 total private sector employment in that county. For example, an index of 1 means that new tech/info jobs created between 2009 and 2013 equal 1% of total 2009 private employment.

On average, the top 25 counties, as measured by the Index, showed an average private sector job gain of 9.1% between 2009 and 2013. That’s compared with a 5.5% gain for the remaining counties. Equally interesting, the top 25 counties, as measured by the index, produced an average non-tech/info job gain of 8.1% between 2009 and 2013, compared to 5.7% for the other counties.

The implication: counties with vibrant tech/info sectors have enjoyed stronger recoveries than other regions of the country, including faster growth of non-tech/info jobs.   

We use the term ‘tech/info’ to emphasizes the convergence of tech firms such as software developers and information and content companies such as newspapers and movie producers. Tech firms and information companies used to live in completely different worlds. Now the walls have come down.

For the purposes of this ranking, the tech/info sector consists of the following industries spanning NAICS 51 and NAICS 5415: Broadcasting (Internet, cable and over-the-air); Custom computer programming (including app developers and web developers); Data processing and hosting (including cloud computing); Film, video, and sound recording (conventional and digital distribution); News services (i.e. Reuters, Bloomberg, Associated Press); Publishing (print and digital); Software; Web search portals and social media; Wired and wireless telecom; Other computer-related services.

The table below gives the top 15 counties, as measured by the tech/info job index. If there’s interest, we will publish a longer list.

Screenshot 2015-03-04 20.20.53