Florida dominating tech growth; these 3 metro areas among nation’s top twelve

by | Mar 31, 2022


Over the last five years, the Sunshine State has experienced an explosion of technology jobs unlike any other in the nation. According to federal employment data, three of the nation’s fastest growing tech sectors are based in Florida, and only one other state had multiple metro areas among the top twelve. Only one other state, Utah, had more than one region listed.

Areas with the fastest growing tech sectors are not necessarily major tech hubs, but those that made the list have seen more growth over the period than others. In Orlando, for example, high-tech industries account for just 7.7% of overall employment, compared to 9.5% nationwide. But the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metropolitan area ranks 12th in the nation (and third in Florida) between 2015 and 2020, where employment in high-tech industries climbed by 26.8%, or 16,355 jobs, compared to 8.9% nationwide. The growth was led by surging employment in the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry, which reported 101.3% job growth over the same period.

The state’s top metro area, Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, however, ranks 2nd nationally for job growth. Over the same five-year span, the region saw employment in high-tech industries climb by 41.6%, or 10,356 jobs. The growth was led by surging employment in the software publishing industry, which reported 126.3% job growth over the same period.

Ranking third nationally and second in Florida is the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin metro area. Employment in high-tech industries there climbed by 39.4%, or 2,399 jobs, compared to 8.9% nationwide. The growth was led by surging employment in the scientific research and development services industry, which reported 77.7% job growth over the same period.

Jobs in high-tech sectors are often well paying. The average annual salary across high-tech industries in the Palm Bay metro area stands at $106,139, about 1.9 times higher than the average salary across all jobs in the area. In the Crestview metro area, that figure stands at $185,011, about 3.7 times higher than the average salary there. And the average high tech salary in the Orlando metro area stands at $111,060, about 2.1 times higher than the average salary across all jobs in the region.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines high-tech industries as those with a high concentration of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) occupations. These industries extend beyond semiconductors and computers and include chemicals, pharmaceuticals, aerospace products, and other industries.

Only metropolitan areas in which high-tech industries constitute at least 5% of the total workforce and where the high-tech industries added at least 1,000 jobs from 2015 to 2020 were included for consideration. All data used in this story is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.

Here’s the full list:

Rank Metro area ChangeĀ  (%) Average salary ($) Share of all jobs (%)
1 Bend-Redmond, OR 64.8 133,744 7.1
2 Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL 41.6 106,139 16.4
3 Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL 39.4 185,011 8.1
4 Austin-Round Rock, TX 32.2 156,335 13.2
5 Greeley, CO 30.8 139,367 5.7
6 Huntsville, AL 30.6 190,484 17.6
7 Salt Lake City, UT 30.0 127,309 6.0
8 Durham-Chapel Hill, NC 28.3 206,318 8.9
9 Ogden-Clearfield, UT 28.0 142,561 5.3
10 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 27.1 416,830 22.8
11 Portland-South Portland, ME 27.0 275,907 7.3
12 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 26.8 111,060 7.7
13 Colorado Springs, CO 24.8 218,891 9.1
14 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 24.8 140,259 5.2
15 Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN 24.5 111,854 7.9
16 Tulsa, OK 23.9 104,003 8.2
17 Charleston-North Charleston, SC 23.8 139,075 6.5
18 California-Lexington Park, MD 20.7 233,720 22.5
19 Madison, WI 20.4 512,047 7.0
20 Boulder, CO 19.9 146,158 25.0
21 Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH 19.0 177,997 14.8
22 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 18.9 141,713 14.1
23 Trenton, NJ 18.7 196,740 11.9
24 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 18.0 123,035 11.6
25 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 17.7 229,896 19.7

Note: This story is a composite of three stories first published by Samuel Stebbins and republished courtesy of The Center Square

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