The Milwaukee metro area added 390 tech jobs in 2017, ranking it 35th among the nation’s metros for job growth in the tech industry, according to a new report by trade group CompTIA.
With a total of 71,200 tech workers, the Milwaukee metro area’s overall net tech employment ranked 32nd among U.S. metros, according to the annual Cyberstates analysis.
Tech workers made up 8 percent of the Milwaukee area’s overall workforce and the industry contributed $6.9 billion to the metro area’s economy in 2017, the report said.
Milwaukee’s tech job growth places it among the bottom of the list of U.S. metros. The only five major metro areas to see lower growth rates were Birmingham, which added 100 jobs; Oklahoma City, which added none; New Orleans and Memphis, which both lost 500 jobs; and Houston, which lost 1,600 jobs.
However, while the Milwaukee area’s tech job gains appeared modest, job growth in that sector outpaced other industries, including health care services, construction, and hotels/restaurants, according to the report.
Statewide, Wisconsin’s technology industry grew by about 2,250 jobs in 2017, which ranked 17th among all states for tech job gains.
The state has 211,900 tech workers, which amounts to 6.8 percent of the state’s total workforce, the report said. Wisconsin ranked 19th among the 50 states in net tech employment.
“The growth of the tech industry in Wisconsin reflects not only the rise of tech-based businesses, but the evolution of traditional sectors – manufacturing, agriculture and financial services, for example – as they embrace technology to become more efficient, productive and competitive,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “As the state’s economy expands, the challenge will become finding the talent to fulfill the jobs of today as well as tomorrow.”
Wisconsin climbed the report’s rankings from No. 40 in 2016 to No. 28 in 2017 for its “innovation score,” which measures tech startups and new tech business formations, as well as venture capital investment in the state.
The state also saw a 47 percent jump in the number of job postings related to emerging technologies, such as the Internet of Things, smart cities, drones, artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality and augmented reality, and blockchain. Those positions accounted for about 10 percent of total tech job postings.
Other findings from the report include:
- The average tech industry wage in Wisconsin is $81,700, compared to the state’s average private sector annual wage of $46,750.
- Wisconsin’s tech sector is responsible for an estimated 6.3 percent, or $18 billion, of the state’s economy.
- The strongest year-over-year job growth was in the areas of packaged software, which saw a 8.7 percent increase, and IT services and custom software services, which saw a 4.3 percent increase.