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Puerto Rico tech sector does poorly in national ranking

cyberstatesPuerto Rico’s technology sector offers the lowest average pays nationwide and is lagging when it comes to job opportunities, according to this year’s Computing Technology Industry Association’s “Cyberstates: State-by-State analysis of the U.S. Tech Industry” report, to be made public later today.

The 16th annual edition of the study, which examines the size and scope of the tech industry in terms of jobs, wages, and other factors across the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, shows that the island placed 52nd regarding wages and 40th in terms of employment.

Using 2013 figures, the report indicates that there are about 25,481 tech industry jobs on the island and 1,363 tech companies, which produced a payroll of $1.1 billion. The report concluded that the average wage earned by a tech employee in Puerto Rico is about $44,016, or less than half of the $101,800 average earnings throughout the U.S. mainland in 2013. Last year, that national average dropped slightly to $100,400, when adjusted for inflation.

However, despite the seemingly abysmal difference, Puerto Rico’s tech workers earned nearly twice as much as other private-sector professionals on the island, who saw an average annual income of $25,700, the Cyberstates report noted.

The analysis also showed that the tech industry added about 300 jobs between 2012 and 2013, representing a 1.2 percent growth.

Stateside, tech employment totaled 6.5 million last year, up by 129,600 from 6.4 million in 2013. Tech industry employment grew at exactly the same rate as the private sector, both increasing by 2 percent, the report noted.

“This represents the fourth year in a row that the tech industry has added jobs, after bottoming out in 2010, at the depth of the recession,” the report noted. “The tech industry employs 5.7 percent of the private sector workforce.”

Puerto Rico’s leading tech industry sectors are: telecommunications, with 9,900 jobs; engineering services, with 3,600 jobs; computer systems design (IT services), with 3,200 jobs; measuring and control instruments manufacturing, with 3,200 jobs; and Internet services, with 2,200 jobs, the report showed.

The Cyberstate report provides one-page “snapshots of the electronics and information tech industry for each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The state-by-state data revealed that 38 states added tech jobs in 2014, with the largest gains in California (+32,900), Texas (+20,100), Florida (+12,500), Massachusetts (+8,700) and Michigan (+8,100.)

The top five states by tech industry employment were California (1,087,800), Texas (581,200), New York (346,500), Florida (307,100) and Massachusetts (286,300.)

The Computing Technology Industry Association is the “voice of the information technology industry.” It has more than 2,000 member companies.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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