Maryland top state in tech job growth in 2009
5,300 computer-related jobs added
Maryland led the nation's job growth last year in computer systems design and related services, plus the management, scientific and technical consulting sectors, according to new information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The latest data show the state added 5,300 jobs in 2009 in the computer systems design and related services sector, growing 8.7 percent, and added 4,500 jobs in the management, scientific and technical consulting sector, a 13.8 percent increase. Maryland accounted for almost half of the jobs added nationally in the computer sector.
Such significant increases could occur this year, too, said Renée M. Winsky, CEO of the Tech Council of Maryland.
"Yes, I think it can continue to grow, and it has to grow for us to stay competitive," Winsky said.
Winsky cited state information that shows technology jobs constitute 6 percent of the state's work force and that the average salary of information technology workers in the state is about $82,000.
Speaking from Annapolis Monday, where she had legislative meetings scheduled, Winsky said, "Our advocacy efforts here in Annapolis are very important [to ensure tech job growth continues]. I think we need a stronger environment to help the entrepreneurs and innovators. And we want to make sure the tools are there, like the biotech tax credit, the research and development tax credit.
"Even things like the [state Department of Business and Economic Development] budget ... when you take away tools or programs there that can help, like taking away the tools to enhance a Northrop Grumman to come here, it makes it challenging it's like shooting yourself in the foot," she said.
Overall, according to the federal statistics, while 2009 saw every state lose jobs, Maryland retained jobs at a higher rate than all but Washington, D.C., and four states: Alaska, North Dakota, Virginia and New Hampshire. Maryland lost 41,000 nonfarm payroll jobs at a 1.7 percent rate during the year. In contrast, the U.S. lost jobs at a 3.0 percent rate.
The job sectors showing the best growth in Maryland included health care, the federal government and educational services.
The health care and social assistance industry added 5,800 jobs for a growth rate of 1.8 percent. Private educational services added 3,600 jobs for 4.9 percent growth, and the scientific research and development sector added 1,000 jobs for a 3.1 percent growth rate. The federal government added 4,100 jobs for 3.2 percent growth.
The state recorded 31,500 job losses in construction for 2009, a loss of 18.5 percent, and 10,800 jobs losses in financial activities.