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U.S. Cities With the Most Tech Jobs

  1. High-Tech, High Salaries
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    High-Tech, High Salaries

    Techies have long flocked to New York, Washington, and Silicon Valley in search of work. In 2009 that may have been to no avail. All three metro areas lost high-tech jobs, a trend that spread through much of the country.

    Fifty-two of the nation's 60 largest metropolitan areas known for high-tech industry shed technology jobs in 2009, according to a new study from TechAmerica Foundation, a high-tech industry association based in Arlington, Va. The study was based on an analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    In fact, high-tech workers have fared better than other private sector employees. While pay at an average high-tech job dropped by 0.8 percent last year, wages paid at an average private industry job declined 1.4 percent, according to TechAmerica. Just don't expect to find the city with the biggest overall increase in tech jobs listed among the top 25 biggest U.S. tech markets. That's because Oklahoma City remains a relatively small market, coming in at No. 57 of the 60 metros in the ranking.

    Click here for America's top 25 high-tech cities in 2009, ranked according to the number of high-tech workers they employ.
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  2. No. 1 City for Tech Jobs: New York
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    No. 1 City for Tech Jobs: New York

    Number of high-tech jobs: 316,971

    High-tech payroll: $31.2 billion

    Average wage: $98,541

    Area employers: InterActive, Viacom, Google, Verizon Communications

    This fall, Basking Ridge (N.J.)-based telco Verizon Wireless announced it will add 900 jobs, citing increased demand for mobile devices. Last year's tech employment picture wasn't as bright: The New York metro area added some positions in research and development and testing, but overall job growth in the sector fell 2 percent, year-over-year. Local companies specializing in computer system design and telecommunications services let even more workers go, so the metro area lost 8,700 jobs. Still, the average local techie's wages were 51 percent higher than those of the average private sector employee.
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  3. No. 2 City for Tech Jobs: Washington
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    No. 2 City for Tech Jobs: Washington

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 292,969

    High-tech payroll: $29.4 billion

    Average wage: $100,488

    Area employers: George Washington University, Georgetown University, LivingSocial

    Washington-based coupon site LivingSocial is hiring to fill more than 100 positions around the world. Last year, local job growth in high-tech fell 1 percent when many companies in the area suffered as their main client—the U.S. government—tightened spending. Many area companies focus on computer system design and engineering services. The average tech worker in the Washington area made 69 percent more money than did the average private sector staffer.
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  4. No. 3 City for Tech Jobs: San Jose/Silicon Valley
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    No. 3 City for Tech Jobs: San Jose/Silicon Valley

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 225,575

    High-tech payroll: $29.8 billion

    Average wage: $132,057

    Area employers: Google, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Adobe Systems, Cisco Systems

    With the nation's highest concentration of tech workers, Silicon Valley lost more tech jobs than many other metro areas last year, logging a whopping 4 percent decline. In June the world's largest PC maker, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), based in Palo Alto, Calif., announced plans to reduce costs by cutting 9,000 jobs. Local high-tech companies mainly focus on computer system design and manufacturing computer equipment and semiconductors. The Valley still leads the country in its average high-tech wage, which in 2009 was 67 percent above the average private sector salary.
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  5. No. 4 City for Tech Jobs: Boston
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    No. 4 City for Tech Jobs: Boston

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 219,798

    High-tech payroll: $22.5 billion

    Average wage: $102,230

    Area employers: Raytheon, Biogen Idec, Akamai Technologies, Sapient, American Tower

    In November, defense contractor Raytheon (RTN) announced a round of layoffs without specifying the number of cuts. Additional regional employers—Charles River Laboratories and biotech firms Biogen Idec (BIIB) and Genzyme (GENZ)—laid off more than 1,000 people since Nov. 3, local TV news site WHDH.com reported. Home to many large companies specializing in computer system design, research and development, and software, Boston also lost 1 percent of its high-tech jobs in 2009. Third in tech wages nationally, Boston still managed to offer high-tech salaries 70 percent above returns at the average local private sector job.
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  6. No. 6 City for Tech Jobs: Dallas-Fort Worth
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    No. 6 City for Tech Jobs: Dallas-Fort Worth

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 174,848

    High-tech payroll: $15.4 billion

    Average wage: $88,164

    Area employers: Texas Instruments, AT&T, RadioShack, MetroPCS Communications

    In January of 2009, local chipmaker Texas Instruments (TXN), announced plans to cut 12 percent of its jobs. The Dallas metro area—heavily focused on telecommunications services, computer system design, and semiconductor manufacturing—suffered as consumer demand for gadgets and services plunged. Nonetheless, Dallas tech workers enjoyed 78 percent higher wages than those employed at the average private sector job.
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  7. No. 6 City for Tech Jobs: Los Angeles
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    No. 6 City for Tech Jobs: Los Angeles

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 169,974

    High-tech payroll: $15.5 billion

    Average wage: $91,152

    Area employers: Walt Disney, Northrop Grumman, Activision Blizzard

    Troubles in the LA area continue. In November, news site VentureBeat.com reported that Activision Blizzard (ATVI) may shutter or sell Bizarre Creations after its latest video game met with tepid reviews, a move that could result in some 200 layoffs. Home to companies that specialize in space and defense systems manufacturing, computer system design, and telecommunication services, Los Angeles was hurt when consumers and businesses cut back spending on everything from entertainment to gear for ships. The area is still sixth-largest nationally in high-tech employment. Local high-tech wages were 89 percent above the area's average private sector salary last year.
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  8. No. 7 City for Tech Jobs: Chicago
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    No. 7 City for Tech Jobs: Chicago

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 161,799

    High-tech payroll: $13.3 billion

    Average wage: $82,462

    Area employers: Motorola, Boeing, Abbott Laboratories

    Earlier this year, Crain's Chicago Business reported that for the second year in a row, Motorola (MOT) employees won't be getting raises. In 2009 the Windy City lost 5 percent of its tech jobs as some of its best-known companies continued to restructure and struggle amid plummeting sales. Many local tech companies specialize in computer systems design and related services, telecommunications services, and research and development, and they have been hit hard by increased competition and the general economic downturn. Still, the average local tech worker made 64 percent more than an employee in the private sector did last year.
    Bloomberg
  9. No. 8 City for Tech Jobs: Seattle
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    No. 8 City for Tech Jobs: Seattle

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 145,256

    High-tech payroll: $14.1 billion

    Average wage: $96,741

    Area employers: Microsoft, Amazon.com, T-Mobile USA

    This summer, Redmond (Wash.)-based software giant Microsoft (MSFT) cut a small number of jobs, on top of about 5,000 it eliminated last year, The Wall Street Journal reported. In November, Kirkland (Wash.)-based Clearwire said it would cut 15 percent of its workforce. Still, thanks largely to its focus on software—which remained in demand during the economic downturn—Seattle kept its overall number of tech jobs steady last year. The area, whose software industry employed 50,700 workers in 2009, was one of few locales that didn't see a decline. The city offered techies an average salary that was 82 percent higher than the local private sector's average wage.
    Bloomberg
  10. No. 9 City for Tech Jobs: Philadelphia
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    No. 9 City for Tech Jobs: Philadelphia

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 134,235

    High-tech payroll: $12.5 billion

    Average wage: $93,406

    Area employers: Comcast, Unisys

    In 2009, Philadelphia added jobs in its largest tech sector, computer systems design and services. However, it lost more positions in research and development and telecommunications services, for an overall cutback of 2 percent. Tech services provider Unisys (UIS), for example, reduced its global workforce by 1,300 employees in 2008 and 2009. The area's techies enjoy wages that were 83 percent higher on average than in the private sector.
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  11. No. 10 City for Tech Jobs: Houston
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    No. 10 City for Tech Jobs: Houston

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 127,760

    High-tech payroll: $11.2 billion

    Average wage: $87,292

    Area employers: Exxon Mobil, FMC Technologies, Cardtronics

    Best known for its oil businesses, Houston is also home to companies that provide engineering and computer systems design services. These employers suffered when information technology spending by local companies in the oil and gas sector and other industries dropped. The average high-tech worker in the area made 57 percent more than employees in the private sector.
    Bloomberg
  12. No. 11 City for Tech Jobs: Atlanta
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    No. 11 City for Tech Jobs: Atlanta

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 123,582

    High-tech payroll: $10.6 billion

    Average wage: $85,761

    Area employers: First Data, Earthlink

    Atlanta companies that were focused on telecommunications, computer system design, and engineering services cut 3 percent of their high-tech jobs last year. An average high-tech worker made 78 percent more than an average local private sector worker.
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  13. No. 12 City for Tech Jobs: San Diego
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    No. 12 City for Tech Jobs: San Diego

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 110,985

    High-tech payroll: $10.3 billion

    Average wage: $93,250

    Area employers: Qualcomm, AT&T, Sempra Energy

    This year, local chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM) is weighing options for its mobile video business—one being a shut-down, the company said. That news came a few months after Roseville (Calif.)-based telco SureWest Communications (SURW) said it would cut 7 percent of its workforce. In 2009, San Diego area tech companies actually added some jobs in research and development and testing, but overall employment was flat, year-over-year, because area companies cut staff in telecommunications services and computer systems design and related services. The area's average high-tech worker made double the average wage in the private sector.
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  14. No. 13 City for Tech Jobs: Minneapolis-St. Paul
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    No. 13 City for Tech Jobs: Minneapolis-St. Paul

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 98,583

    High-tech payroll: $8 billion

    Average wage: $81,579

    Area employers: UnitedHealth Group, 3M, Medtronic

    Home to companies specializing in computer system design and electro-medical equipment and measuring instruments manufacturing, the Minneapolis area lost 4 percent of its tech jobs last year. For example, giant 3M (MMM), maker of Post-It Notes and Scotch Tape, cut 5,600 jobs in 2008 and 2009. The average high-tech salary was 65 percent higher than the average private sector wage.
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  15. No. 14 City for Tech Jobs: Orange County, Calif.
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    No. 14 City for Tech Jobs: Orange County, Calif.

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 95,047

    High-tech payroll: $8.2 billion

    Average wage: $86,413

    Area employers: Allergan

    The area might be known nationally through the lens of The O.C., the TV show about troubled youth living in a posh neighborhood. Having lost 5 percent of its jobs, the local high-tech industry is living anything but the posh life. The area's leading high-tech sectors include computer system design and engineering and telecommunications services. Last year, Botox maker Allergan (AGN) cut 5 percent of its work force, or 460 people. The average high-tech worker's wages were 75 percent higher than pay in the area's private sector.
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  16. No. 15 City for Tech Jobs: Detroit
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    No. 15 City for Tech Jobs: Detroit

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 95,042

    High-tech payroll: $7.6 billion

    Average wage: $80,093

    Area employers: Compuware, General Motors

    Earlier this year, automaker General Motors (GM) said it would hire 1,000 engineers and researchers in the next two years. That's welcome news in a region that's been hard-hit by the recession and the auto industry's decline. Last year was particularly rough: The Motor City lost 15 percent of its high-tech jobs in computer system design, research and development, and engineering services. Still, a high-tech worker made 70 percent more than the area's average private sector worker.
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  17. No. 16 City for Tech Jobs: Denver
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    No. 16 City for Tech Jobs: Denver

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 88,936

    High-tech payroll: $8.2 billion

    Average wage: $92,156

    Area employers: Qwest Communications International (part of CenturyLink)

    Between 2007 and 2009, Denver gained 5,200 high-tech jobs, proving itself an anomaly among the U.S.'s largest high-tech cities. The area's companies focus on telecommunications services, computer system design, and engineering services. The area's average techie earned 81 percent more than its average private sector employee.
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  18. No. 17 City for Tech Jobs: San Francisco
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    No. 17 City for Tech Jobs: San Francisco

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 86,581

    High-tech payroll: $10.7 billion

    Average wage: $123,479

    Area employers: Salesforce.com, Genentech, Charles Schwab

    Helped by demand for business software, San Francisco gained 1,300 software publishing jobs last year, thanks to hiring by such companies as Salesforce.com (CRM). But even this tech industry powerhouse lost a greater number of jobs in its other two major tech sectors—computer system design and research and development—for a sector decline of 2 percent. Still, the area's average high-tech worker earned 66 percent more than San Francisco's average private sector employee.
    Bloomberg
  19. No. 18 City for Tech Jobs: Phoenix
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    No. 18 City for Tech Jobs: Phoenix

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 83,739

    High-tech payroll: $6.8 billion

    Average wage: $81,183

    Area employers: Intel, Honeywell International

    This fall, chipmaker Intel (INTC) said it will revamp its Arizona facilities, possibly adding more jobs. That's welcome news for Phoenix. In addition to being slammed by the housing bust, the city has also been hurt by slumping demand for gadgets that use semiconductor components. As a result, the area's leading technology sectors—including semiconductor manufacturing, computer system design, and telecommunications services—laid off workers in the past year, for a 6 percent drop in the sector, year-over-year. An average high-tech worker in Phoenix made 87 percent more last year than did an average private sector worker.
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  20. No. 19 City for Tech Jobs: Oakland
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    No. 19 City for Tech Jobs: Oakland

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 82,134

    High-tech payroll: $8.1 billion

    Average wage: $98,406

    Area employers: Pandora Media

    Web radio Pandora is filling nearly 30 jobs, most located in Oakland. After adding some employment in 2008, Oakland's tech sector struggled in 2009, when it lost 7 percent of its jobs. The area's leading high-tech industries include computer system design, research and development, and telecommunications services, and they suffered from lower business and consumer demand. Still, the average local high-tech worker earned 76 percent more than the average private sector employee last year.
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  21. No. 20 City for Tech Jobs: Baltimore
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    No. 20 City for Tech Jobs: Baltimore

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 76,813

    High-tech payroll: $6.7 billion

    Average wage: $87,222

    Area employers: Lockheed Martin, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Constellation Energy Group

    As it closes and consolidates plants, defense contractor Lockheed Martin (LMT) has said it will cut more than 400 jobs in Maryland and Minnesota during the coming months. This comes as further bad news for the Baltimore area, which in 2009 added some engineering services and research and development jobs, only to lose more jobs in computer system design and related services. An average high-tech worker earned 87 percent more than an average private sector employee last year.
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  22. No. 21 City for Tech Jobs: Miami-Fort Lauderdale
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    No. 21 City for Tech Jobs: Miami-Fort Lauderdale

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 67,795

    High-tech payroll: $4.6 billion

    Average wage: $67,226

    Area employers: Brightstar, Ryder System, IVAX Diagnostics

    Known as the cruise capital of the world, Miami saw its tech industry suffer when cruise companies and telcos cut spending. The city lost 5 percent of its high-tech jobs last year. Miami is home to a sizable high-tech industry that's concentrated in such sectors as telecom services, computer systems design, and engineering services. The area's average high-tech employee made 61 percent more than its average private sector worker.
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  23. No. 22 City for Tech Jobs: Portland, Ore.
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    No. 22 City for Tech Jobs: Portland, Ore.

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 65,749

    High-tech payroll: $5.7 billion

    Average wage: $86,683

    Area employers: Intel, Oregon Health & Science University

    In a hopeful sign for the area, chipmaker Intel (INTC) recently said it will build a new plant in Portand, Ore. The semiconductor manufacturing industry by far outstrips any other in Portland, which lost 4,100 high tech jobs from 2007 through 2009. Last year the area's average high-tech worker earned 96 percent more than its average private sector employee.
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  24. No. 24 City for Tech Jobs: Kansas City, Mo.
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    No. 24 City for Tech Jobs: Kansas City, Mo.

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 64,600

    High-tech payroll: $4.9 billion

    Average wage: $75,298

    Area employers: DST Systems, Garmin

    Earlier this year, computer services provider DST Systems (DST) cut 53 jobs in the area, Kansas City Business Journal reported, continuing a trend of job losses in the area. While Kansas City gained a few high-tech jobs in 2008, the metro lost 4 percent of them in 2009, with cutbacks in all major high-tech sectors, including telecommunications services, computer system design, and engineering services. The average high-tech worker in the area earned 74 percent more than the average private sector employee.
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  25. No. 25 City for Tech Jobs: Tampa-St. Petersburg
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    No. 25 City for Tech Jobs: Tampa-St. Petersburg

    Number of high-tech Jobs: 53,921

    High-tech payroll: $3.8 billion

    Average wage: $71,143

    Area employers: Teco Energy, Tech Data, Citrix Systems, Harris

    Earlier this year, consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers said it will lay off 500 information technology workers, most of them in Tampa, TampaBay.com reported. Overall, Tampa area tech businesses laid off 7 percent of their employees last year in sectors such as telecommunications services, computer system design, and engineering services. The area's average high-tech worker earned 81 percent more than its average private tech sector employee.
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