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Oregon taps livability binge, adds 4,000 tech jobs
by Malia Spencer Staff Reporter Portland Business Journal
  Tuesday March 8, 2016 - 7:13 AM
When it comes to the tech industry, Oregon is, by one measure holding steady in terms of jobs creation.

That said, the overall net is pretty impressive, according to the latest Cyberstates study by the Computing Technology Industry Association, or CompTIA. The state's tech industry now employs 92,109 workers, a jump of 3,889 between 2014 and 2015.

The overall increase is 14 percent since 2009.

Oregon has held the No. 21 spot since 2011, when it moved up one spot. Keep reading for the highlights, or scroll down and check out some interactive graphics created by our Research Director Brandon Sawyer.

The report indicates that tech employment is growing faster than overall employment. According to state figures, nonfarm employment grew 3.3 percent from 2014 to 2015. From 2009 to 2015, nonfarm employment grew 10.3 percent.

That growth should continue, as, in the fourth quarter of 2014, there were 9,600 postings. In the fourth quarter of 2015 there were 19,400, according to CompTIA.

Oregon still ranks high in (No. 2 nationwide behind California) in terms of semiconductor manufacturing employment. This tech legacy has historically been rooted in the suburbs of Portland, but the growing number of software companies and some hardware firms, are increasingly moving into the urban core.

The software publishing industry employed 10,200 people in 2015, up 4 percent from the prior year.

And these tech workers on average are earning significantly more than the state's average. Oregon ranked No. 10 in terms of average tech industry wage at $105,263. However, the state ranked No. 4 when comparing the difference between average private sector wages to tech wages. Tech wages comprised 126 percent of the average private sector wage.

Oregon's average tech wage has grown 17 percent since 2009, when it was $89,977.

Oregon did score the No. 1 spot nationwide in terms of the outsized role tech plays in the state's economy. In 2015, the tech sector contributed 23 percent to the Gross State Product, according to the study. Washington came in second at 12.6 percent. When it comes to diversity within tech, the state is near the bottom (No. 49) for gender ratios. The sector is 70 percent male and 30 percent female, according to the report. Washington, D.C., came in at No. 1 with 61 percent male and 40 percent female. Malia covers technology, startups and entrepreneurs. Sign up for her TechFlash newsletter to get the top founder and funder stories twice per week.

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