Mar 11, 2017

Madison shows ‘great momentum’ in tech job growth, Brookings analyst says

Excerpted from Wisconsin State Journal

By Judy Newman

Madison is one of the few U.S. metropolitan areas with a rising share of tech jobs, according to a new Brookings Institution report.

And it may gain even more ground in coming years as tensions mount over the high cost of living on the East and West Coasts and over escalating political concerns, the report’s co-author says.

Madison ranked No. 20 in its growth in tech jobs between 2013 and 2015, with 2,900 jobs added during that three-year period in the fields of software publishing, data processing and hosting, computer systems design and other information services.

It was seventh-highest in the percentage increase of tech jobs, with an average gain of 11 percent a year from 2013-2015, the report shows, using Moody’s Analytics data.

“This is a thin slice of tech,” said Muro, senior fellow and policy director of Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program.

Even more important: Madison’s share of tech positions increased 0.1 percent from 2010 to 2015. It’s a small but significant number, Muro said.

“Lots of places are adding jobs; only a relatively few are actually increasing, substantially, their share,” he said. “That Madison is able to do that means it is truly one of the ‘rising rest’ that Steve Case was talking about.”

The Brookings report didn’t surprise Vicki Ryan, vice president of human resources at Nordic, a fast-growing consultant company serving Epic clients.

“We’ve got a strong academic infrastructure, great entrepreneurial spirit, and the Madison community is a great place to make a home,” Ryan said.

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