Washington Packs a Big Punch as a Tech-Export Heavy-Hitter

The Evergreen State outshines most other states in jobs supported and tech-services exported, study shows
Updated: Wed, 05/29/2019 - 12:19
 
 
  • The Evergreen State outshines most other states in jobs supported and tech-services exported, study shows

Washington state ranks third among U.S. states in the number of jobs directly supported by tech exports to foreign nations and second nationally in a measure of the total value of annual tech services exported, at nearly $15 billion, according to a just-released industry study.

The number of jobs directly supported by tech exports in Washington totaled 42,346, up 7.4% year over year as of 2017, according to CompTIA’s “Tech Trade Snapshot 2019.” Ranking ahead of third-place Washington on the jobs front were California and Texas, with tech-export-supported jobs in 2017 totaling 205,761 and 160,360, respectively.

In terms of total tech-services exported in 2017, ranking ahead of Washington was California, at $36.4 billion. The rankings in the jobs-supported and tech-services-exported categories are based on 2017 figures, the most recent available.

In addition, Washington ranks fifth among the states in the number of jobs supported directly by tech exports to China alone ― 2,144 jobs in 2017, up 7.7% year over year. That robust showing based on 2017 figures does not reflect the effects of the ongoing tariff battles between China and the U.S., which began with the first tariff volleys fired this past summer.

With respect to tech-product exports, for which 2018 figures are available, Washington ranked 11th among the states, with some $4.4 billion in such exports, up 4.2% year over year. Texas, California and Florida ranked first through third, respectively, in that category.

On a national basis, U.S. tech exports directly supported some 858,000 American jobs in 2017, with export-supported employment increasing by 43,000 jobs year over year, up 5.2% year. Exports of both U.S tech-industry products and services grew by some $16 billion in 2018, to an estimated $338 billion, according to the CompTIA study. The leading trading partners for U.S. tech services are Ireland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Japan; for tech-product exports, the leading partners are Mexico, Canada, China and Hong Kong.

“The global demand for all things digital – devices, applications, content and the underlying technology infrastructure – continues unabated,” says Tim Herbert, senior vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA, an industry group representing the tech industry. “Technology plays a unique role in international trade. Not only is it one of the largest categories of exports, but technology serves as a catalyst for businesses and consumers to connect, create and exchange, thereby encouraging even more trade.”

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