Stability. In what seems to be a period of uncertainty, we all seem to be looking for something we can count on. Fortunately, results from 2020’s first quarter offer reasons to at least feel encouraged if not celebrate for the future. And when the technology sector wins, experience tells us that the state’s economy does, too.
The positive results are revealed in the Arizona Technology Council’s latest Arizona Technology Industry Impact Report. This quarterly report is designed to chart the progress of the state’s technology community. I’m proud to share the news that our industry continues to grow steadily. More than 9,500 technology companies were counted as operating in Arizona. Collectively, their workers filled more than 197,000 jobs, which was a 3.74% increase over the previous year.
In turn, the total technology wages exceeded $20.9 billion. This represented a 5.42% jump from the past year. For the average worker in the industry, the annual wage was $86,303 — 1.1 times the national average. With such strong numbers, it’s hardly surprising Arizona’s science, technology, engineering and math graduates took notice. The report shows 29% chose to stay here to work.
Tax contributions made to the state totaled more than $38 million. Add to that the dollars funneled into the economy on payday. Speaking of investing locally, venture capitalists are finding favorites in Arizona. Last year was the second of the two strongest years for such investments. Companies here received $864 million in 2019, following the $944 million in 2018.
A new addition to the report touches on a topic that you may not have considered that much until now. I’m talking about supply chain. Our Supply Chain Gap Analysis has tracked technology companies’ in-region, import and total supply chain purchases. It turns out this has been another way to spend dollars closer to home as 76% of Arizona’s technology industry supply chain purchases—a $4.5 billion value—are sourced in-region.
There are more trends to track when it comes to technology. You can see for yourself by viewing the complete report on the Council’s website at www.aztechcouncil.org.
The report provides our members, partners, leadership and people like you with an update on economic development related to the state’s technology sector. Data includes job creation, risk capital, research and development investment, tax contributions, startup growth, technology postings by top cities, and technology employment by gender and race.
Compiling the information on the Council’s behalf is eImpact, an organization that creates web-based, data-reporting solutions designed to help cities, industries and planners drive effective policy, create new growth and engage stakeholders. The report is based on eImpact’s analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CompTIA, AngelList and others.
While we do anticipate seeing a downturn in the second quarter due to the disruptions caused by the pandemic, our technology sector’s being well-diversified should translate into a quick recovery. And I don’t think anyone would complain about counting on some good news in the future.
Steve Zylstra is president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council.
VISIT HERE to view the Phoenix Business Journal article in its entirety.