High-tech boosts office recovery, but at a high cost

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JLL’s July high-tech employment update analyzes how key U.S. markets are responding to high-tech economic growth

Key points reported in JLL’s latest update include:

  • High-tech_blogHigh-tech services employment across the U.S. continues to swell, adding 104,600 jobs and growing by 4 percent year-over-year in May – this growth accounted for 19 percent of all office jobs added during the same period.
  • At 2.7 million jobs, the U.S. high-tech services sector has surpassed the previous peak of 2.2 million jobs reached in March of 2001 during the dot.com boom. Growth has occurred more rapidly in the current cycle because of the shift toward application, mobile, software, and search-related service firms, in contrast to the focus on network and hardware development that defined the dot.com boom from 1999 to 2001.
  • More robust growth on the services side of high-tech has buoyed the office employment sector overall since the last recession; high-tech services jobs accounted for 19.1 percent of all office jobs added since the trough in 2009.
  • High-tech employment is increasing in many markets, often outpacing overall employment growth by double, or more.
  • The interesting story is around wages – the rapid increase in wages points to the competitive marketplaces many high-tech firms are facing.
  • The Manhattan-Brooklyn market is the second ranked U.S. market for high-tech wage growth, following the top market – San Francisco. In 2013, Manhattan experienced 8.4% high-tech employment growth, and 11.3% high-tech wage growth, with an average high-tech annual wage of $125,555.
  • Strong high-tech leasing activity in a number of U.S. markets indicates that future employment gains are in the pipeline.
  • High-tech employment will likely outpace national employment growth for the next 12 months and perhaps beyond.

Read the full report for further insights about U.S. high-tech employment.