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Salt Lake City – Utah’s technology industry is continuing on an upward swing according to data released Wednesday by the Utah Technology Council.
The UTC releases information regarding the state’s technology industry annually in June. The data released Wednesday highlights the growth from September 2012 to September 2013 and is gathered from various institutions, including the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Census Bureau and Utah Department of Workforce Services.
Richard Nelson, president and CEO of the UTC, said the most impressive thing that came from this year’s data is the fact that Utah is home to a total of 5,043 technology companies—up 6.3 percent from 2012. That equals out to be 298 new companies in the state.
This growth has also resulted in the creation of 3,737 new technology jobs, according to the data. Nelson said growth of approximately 17 percent is occurring for electronic computer manufacturing, electronic shopping, software publishing and internet publishing and broadcasting.
“There are now close to 70,000 direct jobs in Utah’s technology companies, and that doesn’t count the many more jobs in the IT departments of basically every company in the state,” Nelson said.
He added that tech jobs average 65.7 percent above the average wage in the state, represent 5.6 percent of total jobs in the state, and represent 9.3 of the state’s total payroll.
“In 2012, the total wages paid was $4.3 billion and in 2013 it was $4.7 billion, so that shows an increase of $400 million in wages for those 70,000 jobs,” Nelson said. “So where’s the action? Where’s the growth engine in the state? It’s all about these technology jobs.”
The UTC also broke down the number of tech companies by county. Salt Lake County showed the highest percentage of growth — 8.3 percent — from 2012 to 2013. A total of 216 new companies moved into the county in 2013, making it the county in Utah with the highest number of technology companies (2,833 or 56.2 percent). Just behind Salt Lake County is Davis County, which experienced a growth of 6.2 percent with the addition of 21 new companies. Utah County has the second highest number of technology companies in the state after Salt Lake County with 976.
“Utah County is a hot county,” Nelson said. “They’re creating a lot of new companies. You can see what’s going on in Thanksgiving Point; it’s just [amazing].”
Other findings in the data concluded that Utah is 40 percent higher than the national total in technology establishments per capita, and Utah is 21 percent higher than the national total in technology employment per capita.
“This growth isn’t happening in other parts of the country,” Nelson said. “There are a few other pockets, and fortunately we happen to be one of the hot pockets in the country in growth.”