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North Carolina, Georgia High-Tech Sectors Are Poised for Growth, Trade Association Says

Posted April 20, 2006

— Both North Carolina and Georgia suffered a net loss in high-tech related employment in 2004, but indications are that the sector is growing again, according to the annual Cyberstates report from the industry trade association

AeA

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"While we do not have any empirical data for 2005 or 20066 at the state level, the 2005 national data appears to point that the tech industry is growing again for the first time in four years," Mike Levin, executive director of the AeA Southeast Council told WRAL Local Tech Wire. "For both North Carolina and Georgia, while we are seeing a net drop in jobs, the number of establishments, venture capital money and research and development appears to be increasing.

"Of course, one year does not make a trend," he added, "and it could simply be a blip on the screen and will be affected by many factors, (such as) the economy. But we see an increase in startups, number of venture capital deals, and generally speaking an economic engine that is starting again at this time."

The Cyberstates report, which features national data as well as reports on individual states, relies on federal statistics for numbers of jobs. The latest information for individual states is from 2004. AeA does not count life science jobs as part of its high-tech criteria.

North Carolina lost a net 1,400 jobs in 2004, leaving the state with 134,600 jobs. Of the losses, most (1,300) occurred in the telecommunications sector.

However, AeA pointed out that employment in research, development and testing labs sector added 2,800 jobs.

Georgia, meanwhile, lost 5,200 jobs, leaving it with 162,300. Hardest hit sectors were computer systems design (2,600) and telecommunications services (1,900).

South Carolina, meanwhile, lost a net of 3,400 jobs, leaving it with 41,628 positions.

Nationally, high-tech employment increased by 61,100, jobs to 5.6 million based on AeA data gathered for 2005. Employment dropped 44,700 in 2004 and 333,000 in 2003.

The increase of high-tech manufacturing jobs (3,300) is the first growth in that sector since 2000, the AeA said.

Software services added 43,400 jobs and engineering and tech services increased hiring by more than 57,000 in 2005, the AeA added.

The value of high-tech exports increased to $199 billion last year, up 4 percent.

Some of the key facts about North Carolina's high-tech sector, according to the AeA, are:

  • 134,600 high-tech workers (16th ranked cyberstate)
  • High-tech firms employed 43 of every 1,000 private sector workers in 2004, ranked 27th nationwide
  • High-tech workers earned an average wage of $67,900 (18th ranked), or 96 percent more than North Carolina's average private sector wage
  • A high-tech payroll of $9.1 billion in 2004, ranked 15th nationwide
  • 8,000 high-tech establishments in 2004, ranked 15th nationwide
  • High-tech exports totaled $3.6 billion in 2005, ranked 12th nationwide
  • High-tech exports represented 19 percent of North Carolina's exports
  • Venture capital investments of $508 million in 2005, up 60 percent from $317 million in 2004
  • R&D expenditures of $6.3 billion in 2003, ranked 14th nationwide
  • Some of the key factors about Georgia's high-tech sector:

  • 162,300 high-tech workers (11th ranked cyberstate)
  • High-tech firms employed 51 of every 1,000 private sector workers in 2004, ranked 20th nationwide
  • High-tech workers earned an average wage of $68,000 (17th ranked), or 78 percent more than Georgia's average private sector wage
  • A high-tech payroll of $11.0 billion in 2004, ranked 14th nationwide
  • 11,500 high-tech establishments in 2004, ranked 10th nationwide
  • High-tech exports totaled $3.3 billion in 2005, ranked 15th nationwide
  • High-tech exports represented 16 percent of Georgia's exports
  • Venture capital investments of $256 million in 2005
  • R&D expenditures of $3.9 billion in 2003, ranked 20th nationwide
  • South Carolina was ranked as 29th overall in high-tech indicators.

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