Austin ranks among nation's top 5 high-tech markets, study shows

Sep 29, 2014
Austin Business Journal

The Austin area is ranked fifth in the nation for its high-tech market, edging out Boston and San Francisco's East Bay, according to the 2014 Jones Lang LaSalle High-technology Office Outlook report


The report U.S. metropolitan areas based on high-tech growth, high-tech wage growth, high-tech services concentration, share of U.S. venture capital funding, intellectual capital, innovation and market dynamism


The Austin area was given a weighted score of 58.5. Topping the list was San Francisco with a rating of 84.6, followed by Seattle-Bellevue (71.4), Silicon Valley (70.6) and New York (58.7)


In a breakdown of the data used for the rankings, the report noted that Austin has 65,010 high-tech sector employees, up 8.3 percent from a year earlier. The average high-tech wage in Austin is $100,431, with annual wage growth in 2013 of 8.3 percent. Though Austin was tied in percentage wage growth with Silicon Valley, average tech salaries in that part of the country are almost double that of Austin, at $195,815, the report said


The report shows that Austin now has nearly as many high-tech services jobs, at 39,011, as does San Francisco, at 47,633, with both cities showing about a 20 percent annual growth in the creation of those jobs


The JLL report gave Austin high marks for its pro-business environment and quality of life, with its growing access to accelerators and incubators, as well as South By Southwest Interactive


As for the real estate market for high-tech companies, JLL reported an average rent of $30.44 per square foot of space, and noted that due to the fierce competition for workers, high-tech companies are investing heavily in amenities in office spaces. Rising costs downtown and tightening vacancies are forcing companies to again look at the suburbs, where more urbanized mixed-use projects are being built that recreate the "downtown" experience with walkable amenities, entertainment and housing options, the report said


The Dallas area, which includes Dallas proper and surrounding suburbs north of Fort Worth, also made the top 10, ranking 10th



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