Nashville 49th among 60 cities in creating Tech jobs
As originally reported:
Greater Nashville qualifies for membership in a group of 60 "Cybercities" that have the greatest shares of the nation's high-tech employment.
Today's report from the American Electronics Association says that -- although Music City is near the back of the 60-city pack in most respects -- the Nashville-anchored region led the other 59 Cybercities with a 10 percent increase in high-tech wages between 2005-2006. However, Nashville still ranked only 48th in the value of its average high-tech paycheck.
Nashville's 10 percent wage increase in 2006 gave Nashville tech workers an average $65,913 per job, about 20 percent lower than the national Tech average, according to AeA. Pay for techies in the Nashville area was about 9.7 percent higher than the average pay for Tech jobs in Tennessee, as a whole.
Apparently, for some employers, the pay and the attractiveness of Nashville are winning combinations. In releasing its report today, AeA offered comments from Ravi Bagal (pictured at right), vice president of marketing for Brentwood-based Edgenet, a provider of software and services to major retailers, with offices in the U.S. and India. Bagal said that Edgenet has been able to "thrive" in Nashville, "drawing and retaining tremendous talent from across the country."
Seeking to demonstrate the comparative value of high-tech jobs, AeA reported that the average local high-tech job paid 59 percent more than the region's average private-sector job, which paid $41,500. AeA said Telecommunications and Computer systems design and related services were the largest high-tech sectors in Middle Tennessee, together accounting for about 8,600 jobs.
AeA has in recent years used such data to bolster its argument that, as it says in the preface of today's report, the nation faces "an impending slide in U.S. global competitiveness caused by the negligence of our political leaders to improve our education system, invest in research and development (R&D), promote private R&D, allow the best and brightest from around the world to work in the United States, and open foreign markets to U.S. tech goods."
Similar charges of neglect have recently been pressed by members of Tennessee's congressional delegation, notably Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) of Nashville and 6th District U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon of Murfreesboro.
AeA said yesterday in a "Cybercities" release that "the top five cybercities by high-tech employment in 2006 were the New York Metro Area, Washington, DC, San Jose/Silicon Valley, Boston, and Dallas-Fort Worth. The nation’s highest tech industry concentration was in San Jose/Silicon Valley, where more than one in four private sector workers were employed by the tech industry..."
Today's report provides a reminder of the vagaries of the high-tech economy, underscoring the challenges that face Tennessee advocates for tech-driven economic development, commercialization and workforce development.