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U.S. High-Tech Workforce Zoomed To 5 Million In 1999: Puerto Rico Ranked 37th In The Nation In High-Tech Employment And 16th In Technology Exports

by Jeffry Valentin-Mari

June 1, 2000
Copyright © 2000 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

The U.S. high-tech industry workforce powered ahead to 5 million in 1999, adding some 1.2 million workers since 1993.

This information was released on May 17 by the American Electronics Association (AEA) and the Nasdaq stock market called Cyberstates 4.0: A State-by-Sate Overview of the High-Technology Industry. The AEA is the nation’s largest high-tech trade group, representing almost 3,000 U.S.-based technology companies.

The report said that all 50 states, including the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico added new high-tech jobs between 1997 and 1998. California, Texas, Virginia, Colorado, and Georgia led the nation in high-tech job creation.

The report pointed out, that California is the nation’s technology leader, employing approximately 835,000 workers in 1998. It was also the state that grew the fastest between 1993 and 1998, creating 193,000 new high-tech jobs.

Texas was ranked second in overall high-tech employment, with 411,000 workers, and also ranks second in creation of new high-tech jobs, adding approximately 132,000 new high-tech jobs between 1993 and 1998.

New York was ranked third with 329,000 high-tech jobs in 1998, followed by Illinois (218,000) and Massachusetts (217,000).

The annual average wage for the nation’s high-tech workforce was $58,000 in 1998, the reported indicated. In other words, the high-tech wage is about 82% higher than the average private sector wage of $32,000.

The top cyber-states by wages were Washington ($106,000), New Jersey ($69,000), California (($67,000), Virginia ($66,000), and Connecticut ($65,000).

U.S. high-tech exports totaled $181 billion in 1999, an 85% increase from 1993. California leads the nation in electronic exports with $53 billion, followed by Texas ($25 billion), Massachusetts ($9 billion), Florida ($8 billion), and New York ($7.6 billion).

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico technology jobs grew by 1,400 to 21,300 in 1998, compared to 19,900 jobs registered in 1997, according to the analytical report released by AEA and Nasdaq.

This is the first time the study included technology data for Puerto Rico, the reported stated.

According to AEA’ s Cyberstates 4.0, Puerto Rico was ranked 37th in the nation in high-tech employment, ranking ahead of such states as Nevada, South Dakota, and the District of Columbia.

However, wages in Puerto Rico were the lowest of all states, with an annual average wage of $24,200 in 1998. However, this was 43% higher than the Puerto Rico private sector annual average wage of $16,949, the report stated.

The study also found that Puerto Rico ranked 16th nationally in technology exports with $2.4 billion in 1999, representing 28% of all Puerto Rico exports.

Other Puerto Rico highlights included in AEA’s Cyberstates 4.0 are:

    • Puerto Rico ranked 42nd by high-tech employment concentration with tech firms employing 22 of every 1,000 private sector workers.
    • High-tech payroll of $514 million.
    • Nearly 400 high-tech establishments.
    • Puerto Rico received $5 million in venture capital investments in 1999.
    • Ninth in electro medical equipment manufacturing with 1,400 jobs.
    • 19th in communications equipment manufacturing with 3,900 jobs.
    • 22nd in electronic components and accessories manufacturing with 6,800 jobs.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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