The mayor said the tech industry has become a critical part of the city's economy, and now outperforms New York, Boston and Santa Clara County.
Los Angeles has emerged as the leading city for high-tech employment, outpacing other strong high-tech regions such as Silicon Valley, according to local economists.
The city’s high-tech industries are responsible for creating 9 percent of all jobs in L.A. County, adding more than $108 billion to the region’s economy and paying more than $21 million in taxes, according to a report released Monday by the county Economic Development Corp.
“Los Angeles’ tech industry is now as critical to our economy as our manufacturing and entertainment sectors,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said as he kicked off L.A.’s inaugural Innovation Week at Oblong Industries downtown. “We are outperforming New York, Boston and Santa Clara County in the heart of the Silicon Valley. If we want to keep it that way, we must ensure our workforce and students are prepared.”
The LAEDC report, titled “High Tech in L.A.,” was aimed at exploring the depth of the technology industry in the city.
“This watershed study puts the exclamation point on what we already knew anecdotally but hadn’t yet quantified about L.A.’s high tech and innovation revolution,” said LAEDC President Bill Allen.
“Namely, L.A. is innovating and applying technology at an unprecedented rate to create thousands of new, well-paying high-tech sector jobs and to transform its leading industries.”
The report said there are now 368,580 jobs in the industry, outpacing manufacturing, food services, trade, construction and even the arts.
The findings best the country’s other major high-tech areas. Boston-Cambridge was close behind L.A. with 361,380 jobs, Silicon Valley showed 313,260 jobs, and New York City had 234,390.
Workers in the high-tech industries earn more than other workers, and they have not been as affected by downturns. As an example, when pay for workers overall was generally stagnant, those in high tech saw annual raises of more than 7 percent.
The annual average wage paid to tech workers is $86,934, almost 68 percent higher than the average pay of $51,778, the report said.
The leading industries in terms of salary were architectural and engineering firms, followed by computer software companies, aerospace and petroleum and chemical.
In addition to direct employment, the report said there is indirect employment, with 187,500 jobs related to the sales of goods and services and another 207,000 supported by household spending of those in the high-tech industries.
Innovation Week runs through Oct. 12 and features more than 30 programs from Santa Monica to downtown on stretching the city’s tech parameters. High-tech firms from the region will showcase their operations in everything from digital media and space commercialization to biomedical and advanced transportation.
The week will highlight and encourage advancements in a variety of industries while promoting STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math), including seminars on cybersecurity awareness, the Whiz Girls Hack-a-thon and the Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards.
©2014 the Daily News (Los Angeles)