Entrepreneur Jeremy Jaech, Tech Alliance chairman, presents the results of the employment study at the event.

The last couple of years have been rocky ones for jobs overall, as the economy struggles to emerge from the depths of the recession.

But Washington state’s tech economy has continued to grow, with tech companies adding more than 15,000 jobs since 2010, or 4 percent growth, bringing the total tech employment in the state to 396,818 people.

Wages and benefits in tech industries were $94,531 per job for the studied period, compared with $49,829 for all other industries.

That is one of the findings from a new economic impact study being released this afternoon by the Technology Alliance in conjunction with its annual State of Technology Luncheon in downtown Seattle. The study looked at employment data from the first half of 2011.

“Everybody thinks Silicon Valley is kicking our butt, but they only grew their high tech jobs 10 percent in the past decade,” he said.

Jaech also sounded the alarm about education funding, thanking the governor and state legislature for stemming the tide of cuts, but saying that more needs to be done to expand the pool of homegrown engineering talent.

“I believe we are screwing up if we allow this increasing mismatch between job creation and talent production to continue,” he said. “We’re going to have to engineer our own future, and I mean that literally. We need engineers, and lots of them.”

We’re at the event now and will have more coming up, including details from the keynote talk by F5 Networks CEO John McAdam.

Counting self-employment, the total number of tech jobs in the state were 434,343 (or 13.6 percent of state employment) with a combined payroll of more than $41 billion.

Looking more broadly, the Tech Alliance study found that technology generated more than 1 million jobs in non-tech sectors, meaning that technology overall translated into 1.4 million jobs, or 45 percent of all jobs in the state, and nearly $86 billion in payroll in 2011.

The results aren’t a major surprise. An analysis by Forbes last week ranked the Seattle region No. 1 in the country for technology job growth, crediting the region for expanding its tech employment base “in good times and bad, boasting a remarkable 43% increase in tech employment over the decade.”

Comments

  • Henry Albrecht

    I expect growth to continue as firms shift jobs here from SV.  There oodles of great jobs in Seattle, Bellevue, etc… for passionate developers.  The mega-firms offer great training, stability and perks, and the growth companies provide [whatever it is that the bigcos do not].

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