High-tech companies are rapidly adding jobs and paying workers more than other industries in metropolitan areas stretching from New York...

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WASHINGTON — High-tech companies are rapidly adding jobs and paying workers more than other industries in metropolitan areas stretching from New York to Seattle, according to a new study looking at the nation’s top “cybercities.”

In a report being released today, the American Electronics Association (AeA) found that 51 of the top 60 U.S. cybercities — those with the most technology workers — added high-tech jobs in 2006. The report also found that the average technology-industry wage was 87 percent higher than the average private-sector salary.

Members of the AeA include Microsoft, Adobe Systems, Coinstar, Google, Intel, Apple and Yahoo.

Although the AeA report is based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2006 — the most recent year available — the industry continues to experience robust growth even as much of the rest of the economy slows, said Christopher Hansen, president and chief executive of the trade group.

“The tech sector is not laying people off,” Hansen said. “If anything, the industry is having trouble getting enough people with the right credentials.”

Although the trade group publishes an annual Cyberstates report, “Cybercities 2008” is the first examination of the industry’s health in the nation’s biggest cities since 2000, before the high-tech bubble burst.

Recent data show the tech sector is “climbing back to ‘pre-bubble-bursting’ levels of employment and activity,” Hansen said. The bubble of the late 1990s was the product of “an exuberance of investment” in companies that often lacked solid fundamentals, but the current growth is being driven by a more stable industry that has become integrated into the broader economy, he added.

Among the report’s key findings:

• Seattle led the nation in technology-job growth in 2006, adding 7,800 positions.

• The New York metropolitan area had the most high-tech employees in 2006 with 316,500 — it was followed by San Jose, Calif., in the heart of Silicon Valley, with 225,300 tech workers; and Boston with 191,700.

• Silicon Valley had the nation’s highest concentration of high-tech workers with 286 industry employees for every 1,000 private-sector workers.

• The Washington, D.C., region led the nation in technology-job growth between 2001 and 2006, adding 7,500 workers.