U.S. Tech Overview
The technology industry continues to be a major driving force in the U.S. economy, making up approximately 7.1 percent of the overall GDP and 11.6 percent of the total private sector payroll. In 2015, the technology industry added nearly 200,000 net jobs and now employs more than 6.7 million people.
Tech manufacturing, which has been trending downward in the U.S. most of the past decade, saw a slight gain in 2015 adding 3,700 jobs, suggesting that employment in the sector has stabilized. Tech manufacturing employs roughly 1.14 million people in the United States.
The largest tech manufacturing sectors in 2015 were measuring and control instruments, semiconductor, electronic components, and computer and peripheral equipment. The four largest sectors of tech manufacturing each experienced positive growth in 2015. On a percentage basis, the largest gain came in the computer and peripheral manufacturing category, with a year-over-year increase of 3.7 percent.
Core IT services, representing the firms providing IT implementation, integration, management, support, and custom software development services, generated the largest gains in employment across the entire tech industry landscape, adding more than 102,000 jobs in 2015. Over the past five years, the core IT services sector has added nearly a half a million new jobs.
As the software industry continues its transition from packaged, on-premise software products to cloud-based software-as-a-service, it has delivered another year of employment growth. The sector grew by 1.7 percent, adding 5,266 new jobs in 2015.
The telecommunications and Internet services sector maintained its growth trajectory in 2015. The sector added nearly 36,000 jobs, resul8ng in a growth rate of 2.8 percent. Growth was largely driven by the Internet services categories. Data processing, hosting, and related services added 16,671 jobs, while the category covering web search portals added 16,192 jobs. Declines were most prevalent in the wireless telecommunications carriers category.
Tech occupations continue to be in strong demand across the economy. The computer and mathematical occupations category, which is comprised almost entirely of computer occupations, had a year-end 2015 employment rate about half the national rate. The engineering and architectural occupations category, which skews heavily towards engineers, had an unemployment rate of just 2.6, down from 3.1 the previous year.