WASHINGTON — The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the global trade association of the technology industry, today issued a new report to help U.S. policymakers better understand the state of the United States’ high-tech economy. The report, “POWERING INNOVATION, DRIVING GROWTH: The High-Tech Economy in Communities Across America,” uses nearly two dozen economic indicators to paint a statistical portrait of the nation’s high-tech sectors and the role they play in the broader economy, including high-tech goods and services, technology-driven innovation, and the skilled workers who drive it all. The report demonstrates just how geographically diffused the country’s innovation-driven, high-tech economy is, and makes clear that technological innovation plays an outsized role in powering the whole U.S. economy.
“High-tech industries are helping lead economic recovery by enabling tens of millions of Americans to work, learn, and connect. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the indispensable role that technology and the technology sector play in our lives—and, importantly, this research makes clear that technological innovation is woven through the entire U.S. economy,” said ITI President and CEO Jason Oxman.
“ITI believes that every state and congressional district has a stake in continuing to strengthen the foundations of the innovation-driven, high-tech economy. It is the surest way to boost U.S. competitiveness and create good jobs. And strengthening technology in America will also make the economy and society more resilient, creating opportunities for all.”
The report, authored by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation for ITI, draws on 23 indicators of the innovation economy to paint statistical portraits of all 50 states and 435 U.S. congressional districts, plus the District of Columbia. The indicators include measures of high-tech activity and its economic impact in three main areas:
- Exports of high-tech goods and services;
- Workforce education and skills, including the number of workers in high-tech and STEM occupations and the wages they earn;
- Innovative ideas, including high-tech startup activity and public funding for R&D projects.
The report validates technology’s impact on driving the economy in small and large communities across the United States. The following is a sample of some of the report’s findings:
- High-tech sectors fuel the local economies of most congressional districts, producing 29% of manufacturing exports on average (28% in the mean district).
- More than half of all congressional districts received at least $50 million in federal R&D funding in the last two fiscal years.
- Texas and Florida are home to nearly four times more high-tech start-ups than the U.S. state average.
- Start-ups comprise 16% of high-tech employment in Alabama—the highest share in the country.
- The average congressional district has more than 400 high-tech start-ups employing approximately 3,400 workers.
- High-tech workers had average wages of nearly $79K in the median state—which is more than double the U.S. median personal income.
- High-tech sectors are highly productive, contributing nearly one-third of manufacturing exports in the average congressional district, despite accounting for less than 10 percent of the workforce.
To see interactive, nationwide maps of these indicators—and to download individual congressional district profiles, visit itic.org/powering-innovation. Statewide totals are also available.