Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Springs still in top 10 for tech workers

Colorado Springs ranked seventh in the nation in the percentage of its work force employed in high-technology industries during 2006, according to a report by the American Electronics Association using the most recent data available.

That is down from fourth in 2001, mostly because the city had the second-highest percentage decline in technology employment among the 60 cities included in the Cybercities 2008 report, the first published by the Washington, D.C.-based organization since 2000. Boulder kept its second-place ranking in the percentage of its work force employed in technology despite losing more high-tech jobs on a percentage basis than any of the 60 cities.

Despite a decline in technology employment of 9,700 jobs between 2001 and 2006, the Springs still had 12.2 percent of its private-sector work force employed in technology jobs in 2006, the report found. San Jose, Calif.; Boulder; Huntsville, Ala.; Durham, N.C.; Washington, D.C., and Manchester, N.H., all ranked ahead of Colorado Springs in percentage of their work force in technology jobs.

Most of the city’s technology employment is in computer systems design, engineering services and semiconductor manufacturing, where the Springs still ranked 10th highest in chip making employment. The Springs isn’t likely to move in the rankings in coming years — Intel Corp. shut down its 1,000-employee Colorado Springs semiconductor plant late last year and Hewlett-Packard Co. is moving a 800-employee technical and customer support center to New Mexico next year.

The report uncovered a couple of bright spots for the local technology industry — local technology workers earned an average of $74,673 in 2006, or nearly twice the average annual private-sector wage, and the number of technology businesses grew by 15.1 percent between 2001 and 2006.

For more information, go to http://www.aeanet.org/publications/idjj_cc2008_overview.asp.

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