Charts: Here’s just how darn important the tech industry is to Washington state

jobgrowth-washington1More than 700 people are gathered today at the Technology Alliance’s annual State of Technology Luncheon, a showcase of the region’s strength as a technology hub. Based on findings from the non-profit Technology Alliance, things are going pretty well in Washington.

techjobs-mapMore than 460,000 people were employed in Washington’s technology-based industries in 2013, representing 14 percent of total employment and accounting for $55 billion in payroll. With multiplier effects, the tech industry supports 1.4 million jobs, or about 42 percent of the workforce.

Even more interesting, for every 100 tech jobs in the state, another 200 jobs are created in industries such as retail, law and finance.

Apex Learning CEO Cheryl Vedoe, a board member of the TA, presented the results at today’s event noting how the state’s tech economy is diversifying and growing stronger, despite the fact that the state remains a big importer of tech talent.

“We should celebrate that growth,” said Vedoe, adding that the state must take steps to ensure that a new breed of technologists are educated and put to work here.

The Technology Alliance noted some of its efforts to do that, including Ada Developer’s Academy, which is designed to get more women involved in software engineering, and the Youth Apps Challenge.

Even so, Vedoe said that more must be done, including additional capacity in colleges and universities.

“The private and public sectors both need to do their part,” she said.

In addition to presenting the statistics about the state’s tech economy, the Tech Alliance also introduced its “Showcase Company of the Year,” with GeekWire Chairman Jonathan Sposato handing the award to SNUPI Technologies and its co-founder Shwetak Patel. We’ll have more from today’s events later, including a recap of keynoter Geoffrey Moore’s talk.

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  • BryanB

    This article will be linked the next time I hear about a Microsoft or Amazon commuter shuttle being blocked because the anarchists don’t like that people working in technology jobs make good money.

  • Derek Schlicker

    Aerospace is tech?

    • Mike

      When has Aerospace not been tech? When is the last time you heard about NASA launching anything into space with a horse and buggy? Seriously, who do you think revolutionized the tech industry?

      • Derek Schlicker

        NASA is not in Washington State, Boeing is. And Boeing’s workforce is primarily manufacturing. When I think tech, I think software and hardware. I don’t think riveting widgets onto a plane is a tech job. Sorry.