Los Angeles

Los Angeles County Boasts Strong Tech Economy

Los Angeles County was home to 368,580 high-tech jobs in 2013, more than other regions that boast strong high-tech sectors, according to figures released Monday by Mayor Eric Garcetti and local economists.

The Los Angeles area had more high-tech jobs than Boston-Cambridge, New York City and Santa Clara County, according to the Los Angeles Economic Development Center's "High Tech in L.A." report funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

"This watershed study puts the exclamation point on what we already knew anecdotally, but hadn't yet quantified about L.A.'s high-tech and innovation revolution -- namely, L.A. is innovating and applying technology at an unprecedented rate to create thousands of new, well-paying high tech sector jobs and to transform its leading industries, such as entertainment, health services, aerospace and manufacturing,'' said Bill Allen, president of the LAEDC.

The report was released at the start of Los Angeles Innovation Week, which will feature more than 30 panel discussions, workshops, demonstrations and other events around the city showcasing the region's "innovation economy."

"The tech bubbles that have started to spring up around here are absolutely integrating with the already-present entertainment industry," startup company owner Daniel Lisi said.

Garcetti hailed the figures in the report, saying the local tech industry is just as "critical to our economy as our manufacturing and entertainment sectors," with Los Angeles "outperforming New York, Boston and Santa Clara County, in the heart of Silicon Valley."

He added the local workers and students must be prepared and trained "if we want to keep it that way."

Los Angeles County's high tech jobs were spread out across a wide range of industries, but were primarily found in aerospace, wholesale activities around high-tech products, technical consulting, engineering services and research and development, and computer software, according to the report.

The local tech sector in 2013 edged out the area's manufacturing, food services and trade and logistics industries, and has triple the number of jobs as the construction industry, the report's authors found.

The distribution of jobs across industries has shifted over the years, with 40 percent of high-tech jobs in 2003 concentrated in the manufacturing industry, an area that a decade later accounted for under one-third of tech jobs, according to the report.

The high-tech sector represents 9 percent of all employment in Los Angeles County, generating $32 billion in wages that amount to nearly 16.8 percent of payroll wages, according to the report. The sector on average pays 70 percent higher wages than in other sectors.

The report also concluded that the local high tech sector contributed $21.8 billion in tax revenues for federal, state and local governments and $58.7 billion to employee incomes, generating $108.3 billion in GDP to the region.

Conan Nolan contributed to this report.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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