Nearly 80,000 Tech Jobs Added in 2021, 2% Employment Growth Projected for 2022
Technology-related employment increased in 44 states in 2021, a testament to the broad-based impact of tech, according to a new report released by CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the information technology (IT) industry and workforce.
CompTIA’s “State of the Tech Workforce” shows that employment increased by approximately 80,000 workers in 2021, a positive gain over the flat performance in 2020. Job growth was slower than expected as the nation navigated through year two of a pandemic, but the tech industry avoided the severe job losses that affected many other sectors.
Nearly 8.7 million people work in core tech-related occupations across the country, with tens of millions more employed as digital knowledge workers. The tech industry accounts for 9.3% of direct value in the U.S. economy – more than $1.8 trillion.
CompTIA estimates a 2% increase – nearly 178,000 new jobs – in 2022, with 48 states projected to add tech workers. Data scientists and analysts (4.3%), cybersecurity professionals (4%), software developers (3.9%), and computer and information research scientists (3.5%) lead the list of occupations expected to see strong growth in 2022.
“The data speaks to the ever-evolving tech workforce and its far-reaching impact across the national, state and metro area economies,” said Tim Herbert, chief research officer at CompTIA. “As always the results are impressive but also a reminder of the collective effort of workers, employers, educators and industry and government organizations to build and sustain a healthy, dynamic tech workforce.”
Texas (+10,851 new jobs) and Florida (+10,522) outpaced all other states in tech job gains in 2021, followed by California (+5,165), North Carolina (+5,004) and Washington (+4,469). On a percent change basis, the top states for job growth were Nevada (+3.3%), Tennessee (+2.9%), Rhode Island (+2.9%), Idaho (+2.7%) and Wyoming (+2.6%).
At the metro level, employers in the Dallas-Fort-Worth-Arlington region added more technology workers (5,321) than any other market in the country. That total was more than double that of the next closest market, Seattle, where 2,651 tech jobs were added. Denver, Miami, Austin and Salt Lake City also recorded impressive growth.
“Under the radar” markets are also represented in the list of metro areas with the strongest year-over-year growth in tech employment, another indicator of the breadth of the U.S tech industry and workforce. Salt Lake City was first in the nation at 2.6%, with Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, San Antonio, Providence, Oklahoma City and Nashville also in the top 10.
The 2022 report shows that there was little change in the characteristics of the tech workforce with one exception. Representation of Hispanic or Latino workers in tech occupations increased from 7% nationally in 2020 to 8% in 2021.
Big demand, big opportunities
Though the pandemic-induced drag on the U.S. economy and labor market led some companies to reduce or postpone spending and hiring, the search of tech talent continued in 2021. Nationwide, employers listed more than 3.5 million job postings for IT occupations. Nearly three in 10 job postings were for jobs in emerging technologies or requiring emerging tech skills. The job posting data also confirms a momentous shift in thinking about work location. Slightly over one million tech job postings (28% of the total) offered a work from home (WFH) or hybrid work option. That’s a 77% increase over the 2019 pre-pandemic rate.
The number of tech business establishments across the country increased by 5.3% in 2021, the equivalent of 25,500 businesses. All 50 states added to their base of tech firms, from startups launching new ventures to established tech firms expanding operations with another business unit or expanding into another state. Florida had the largest year-over-year increase of net-new tech business establishments (+2,715), while Vermont experienced the largest increase by percent change (11.6%).
The report also reveals that 27 states have a tech sector that generates $10 billion or more in direct economic impact to the state. Every state and the District of Columbia saw gains in the economic impact of the tech sector in 2021.