Local Tech Jobs Among Hardest-Hit in Recession

The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area lost 3,800 jobs in the technology industry during the recession.

Minneapolis-St. Paul suffered one of the worst job losses in the high-tech industry during the recession, according to a report by Washington D.C.-based TechAmerica Foundation.

The report states that the Twin Cities lost 3,800 tech jobs between 2008 and 2009-ranking it 45th among 60 U.S. cities.

However, despite job losses, the area ranked 13th for the number of tech workers employed in 2009, which totaled 98,600-down 4 percent from the previous year. High-tech sectors that employed the most workers include computer systems design and related services (22,800), electromedical equipment manufacturing (13,200), and measuring and control instruments manufacturing (11,000).

The Twin Cities ranked first in the number of people it employs in the manufacturing of electronic medical devices, third in the manufacturing of measuring and control instruments, and fourth in computer and peripheral equipment.

The TechAmerica Foundation's report, released earlier this month, examines the high-tech industry in the largest metropolitan areas, focusing on high-tech employment, wages, establishments, payroll, employment concentration, and wage differential.

It found that the average tech industry worker in the Twin Cities earned $81,600 annually-65 percent more than the metro area's average private-sector wage.

According to the report, the top 10 cities for high-tech employment in 2009 were New York; Washington D.C.; San Jose/Silicon Valley, California; Boston; Dallas/Fort Worth; Los Angeles; Chicago; Seattle; Philadelphia; and Houston.

The nation's highest tech-industry employment concentration was in San Jose/Silicon Valley, where nearly 30 percent of private-sector workers were employed by the tech industry. Oklahoma City saw the largest tech-industry employment growth, adding more than 900 jobs in 2009.