U.S. Tech Employment Surpasses 12 Million Workers, Accounts for 10 Percent of Nation's Economy

Downers Grove, Ill. (April 21, 2020) — Information technology (IT) employment in the United States reached an estimated 12.1 million workers in 2019, capping a decade in which the country's tech-related workforce expanded by 2.3 million jobs, according to Cyberstates 2020, the definitive guide to the U.S. tech industry, occupations and trends published annually by CompTIA, the leading trade association for the global IT industry.


Net tech employment grew by more than 307,000 workers in 2019, an increase of 2.6 percent over 2018, with 45 states and the District of Columbia experiencing tech job growth.[1] Tech workers make up an estimated 7.7 percent of the overall U.S. workforce.


At $1.9 trillion, the tech sector accounts for an estimated 10 percent of the total U.S. economy, making it the third largest sector in the economy behind only manufacturing and government. The tech industry's gross domestic product increased 66 percent between 2010 and 2019, adding $745.5 billion in output.[2]


"In these trying times it is often difficult to think beyond today, but we must remain committed to preparing the workforce of tomorrow for success in whatever the future may hold," said Todd Thibodeaux, president and CEO of CompTIA.


"Technology powered job growth and economic gains in the past decade while delivering countless benefits in how we work, communicate, create, and share. Looking ahead, the need for professionals from all backgrounds to develop, support, and protect these technologies will continue to grow," Thibodeaux continued. "We have a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to mobilize the best ideas and resources across our industry members, learning partners and government to build on the progress we've made."


Among specific tech occupation categories, software and web developers led employment growth in 2019 with a 4.3 percent year-over-year increase, to nearly 1.6 million positions. Growth also occurred among IT support specialists (+3 percent, to more than 664,000); and systems and cybersecurity analysts (+2.6 percent, to more than 740,000).


"The labor market for technology professionals was extremely tight during 2019, with unemployment at historic lows throughout periods of the year," said Tim Herbert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. "This speaks to the broad-based demand for tech talent across regions, industries, and employers looking to capitalize on innovation that was once in the realm of science fiction, but increasingly reality."


In fact, positions in emerging technologies accounted for nearly 18 percent of all tech job postings in the U.S. last year. Since 2015 growth in emerging tech annual job postings has increased by 200 percent.


More from Cyberstates 2020


  • The top five states for net tech employment gains in 2019 were California (+61,195), Texas (+27,466), Florida (+17,987), New York (+15,528) and North Carolina (+15,085).
  • The strongest employment on a percentage increase basis occurred in Nevada (+6 percent), North Carolina (+4.3 percent), Idaho (+4.2 percent), Maine (+4.1 percent) and Utah (+4 percent).
  • Massachusetts has the highest concentration of tech workers in its overall workforce (11.5 percent). Virginia (10.7 percent), Washington (10.7 percent), Colorado (10.5 percent) and Maryland (10.3 percent) round out the top five.
  • Among metropolitan areas, San Francisco (+21,046), San Jose (+15,727), New York City (+13,513), Seattle (+12,605) and Boston (+10,704) recorded the strongest net gain in tech employment last year.
  • The economic impact of the tech sector is most strongly felt at the metro level in San Jose, where it accounts for an estimated 58.2 percent of the local economy. Also in the top 10 in this ranking are San Francisco (27.3 percent), Seattle (26.3 percent), Austin (23.8 percent), Raleigh (23.1 percent), Boston (19.6 percent), San Diego (15.8 percent), Portland, Ore. (15.8 percent), Washington, D.C. (15.4 percent) and Denver (15.1 percent).
  • From 2010 through 2019, 24 states generated gains of more than 25,000 net new tech jobs. Six states added more than 100,000 jobs during the decade.


Cyberstates 2020 is based on CompTIA's analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), Burning Glass Technologies, Hoovers and other sources.


Visit https://www.cyberstates.org/ for the latest data on the economic and employment impact of the U.S. tech industry.


About CompTIA

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $5.2 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the estimated 75 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world's economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce. Visit www.comptia.org to learn more.