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High-Technology Occupations

Description: 

Occupational data are more useful than industrial data in identifying certain types of activity, such as high technology, that are related to innovation. Employment shares that are above average in highly skilled, highly paid occupations indicate that a workforce is positioned to make innovative advances. Geographic areas with below-market wages in these occupations will have a more difficult time attracting workers or firms.

Occupational employment and wage data are collected annually via a survey of employers; only wage and salary employees are included. The survey is conducted semiannually on a three-year cycle, with one-third of the survey data collected each year. The latest data from May 2011 include information collected during early 2011, each period of 2010 and 2009, and late 2008.

Of the 22 defined occupational groups, those most closely related to high technology and innovation are computer and mathematical; architecture and engineering; and life, physical, and social sciences. On Arizona Indicators, employment in each of these groups is expressed as the share of total wage and salary employment in Arizona. The difference from the national average share also is shown. The median wage in each of these groups is displayed both as a share of the overall Arizona median and as a share of the national average for each group.

Data Source: 

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Survey: http://www.bls.gov/oes/. About half-way down the page under “Current Tables” select “National Cross-Industry” for the national data and “State Cross-Industry” for Arizona data. The data are released 17 months after the end of a year. The Arizona data also are available from the Arizona Department of Administration’s Office of Employment and Population Statistics at https://laborstats.az.gov/occupational-employment-statistics.

Data Quality Comments: 

The data are subject to sampling error. Because of the sample design, comparisons over time are best made using three-year intervals.

iconHigh-Technology Employment as a Percentage of Total Employment, as Defined by Occupational Group

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Visualization Notes:

As defined by occupational group, high-technology employment as a share of total employment dropped in Arizona between 2001 and 2006, then rose between 2006 and 2014 to a level higher than in 2001. A decline in the engineering share over the 13 years was offset by an increase in the share of the computer group.

iconHigh-Technology Employment as a Percentage of Total Employment, Arizona Less the United States, as Defined by Occupational Group

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Visualization Notes:

As defined by occupational group, high-technology employment as a share of total employment in Arizona relative to the national average slipped from higher in 2001 to marginally lower from 2006 through 2008, but recovered to higher in 2014. Arizona’s positive differential in the engineering occupational group has narrowed but the share in Arizona relative to the U.S. average became higher in the computer group.

iconMedian Wage by Occupational Group in Arizona as a Percentage of the Total Median Wage

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Visualization Notes:

The median wage in high-tech occupational groups is far higher than the overall median wage in Arizona. The differential in the computer group increased in the last two years. Relative to the overall Arizona median since 2001, the median in the science group has fluctuated, while the median in the engineering group has not changed much.

iconMedian Wage by Occupational Group in Arizona as a Percentage of the National Average

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Visualization Notes:

Though the median wage in high-tech occupational groups is far higher than the overall median in Arizona, the median in each group generally has been less than the national median for the group since 2001. The median in 2014 was about 6 percent less than the U.S. average in the engineering and computer groups and 11 percent less in the sciences group.

Data Source

U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Survey: http://www.bls.gov/oes/. About half-way down the page under “Current Tables” select “National Cross-Industry” for the national data and “State Cross-Industry” for Arizona data. The data are released 17 months after the end of a year. The Arizona data also are available from the Arizona Department of Administration’s Office of Employment and Population Statistics at https://laborstats.az.gov/occupational-employment-statistics.