Vermont Business Magazine Vermont’s tech sector makes up a quarter of the state’s workers and 40 percent of its wages, and generates higher pay and faster job growth compared to the state’s overall economy. These are some of the key conclusions from a new report released Wednesday by the Vermont Technology Alliance, a non-profit business association that represents Vermont’s technology sector.
The report, “Vermont’s Tech Employment – The Hidden Driver of Our Economic Growth,” highlights the pervasive and positive impacts of tech employment on Vermont’s economy. The report features key findings from a study conducted by the Vermont Department of Labor in 2015, with the Vermont Technology Alliance’s encouragement and support, to quantify Vermont’s tech workforce and its role in the state’s economy. That study defines tech jobs as those that fall under the category known as STEM – for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – and reviews both tech and non-tech jobs in Vermont’s tech industries, and tech jobs in non-tech industries.
Highlights from the Vermont Technology Alliance report include:
- Tech jobs make up 25% of all Vermont employment, representing 77,249 jobs.
- Tech jobs generate an estimated $5.6 billion in wages, representing 40% of all Vermont wages.
- Vermont’s tech workers earn 63% more compared to the Vermont average wage. A Vermont tech job pays an average annual wage of $72,732, while the average annual Vermont wage is $44,540. This premium generates an additional $280 million for Vermont’s economy.
- Tech jobs are growing faster than Vermont’s total employment, with growth of 8.3% over the past ten years compared to the state’s average employment growth of 1.2%. Tech jobs are projected to grow at a 7.5% annual rate from 2014 to 2022, the fastest growing in Vermont.
- Every tech job creates up to two additional jobs in the Vermont economy.
“When describing Vermont, tech may not typically come to the top of most people's minds, but as this report shows, tech jobs represent a significant and growing contributor to the state's economy, said Jeff Couture, executive director of the Vermont Technology Alliance. “The vtTA produced the report to draw attention to the increasing role that the technology sector plays in creating high-paying jobs throughout the state, and the economic growth opportunity it represents for Vermont's future.”
The report lists five public policy recommendations to support the continued growth of Vermont’s tech ecosystem:
- Evolve Vermont’s brand to capture both its natural environment image with its innovative technology culture.
- Address infrastructure challenges, particularly availability of broadband, cell phone coverage and affordable housing.
- Expand the support system for entrepreneurs, including business financing and leveraging the strengths of academic institutions.
- Support the workforce needs of tech, including aligning educational institutions with the needs of the state’s tech employers.
- Examine existing laws and modify them to ensure they support tech growth.
“Vermont’s tech sector represents the sweet spot of the state’s economy and its economic development future, attracting businesses and creating jobs that are clean, green, high-paying and offering career growth,” said Couture. “Vermont is well-positioned to be the preferred destination for tech workers, tech startups and skilled distance workers. If you can work from anywhere, why not choose Vermont?”
Vermont Technology Alliance Report and Vermont Labor Department Study
Vermont Technology Alliance report: Vermont’s Tech Employment – The Hidden Driver of Our Economic Growth
Vermont Department of Labor study: Tech in Vermont: A Study of the Prevalence and Impact of Tech in the Green Mountain State
About the Vermont Technology Alliance
The Vermont Technology Alliance is a non-profit business association with a mission to support, promote, and grow technology businesses and technology jobs in Vermont. The vtTA is the only business organization focused solely on Vermont’s technology business sector and careers. The Alliance's members range from individual entrepreneurs to large companies, including those that work with and support Vermont’s tech businesses.