Arizona tech industry grows, even in pandemic

Arizona is holding its own as one of the country’s major tech hubs. Tech jobs and tech salaries saw significant increases last year, even during a global pandemic. In fact, the growth likely came because of the pandemic. 

As the country was forced into quarantine and work-from-home scenarios, technology became more important than ever. 

“At the start of 2020, the biggest challenge facing many businesses was how to effectively build out their tech teams with top candidates amidst record-low unemployment,” Art Zeile, CEO of DHI Group, Inc., writes at the beginning of the Dice 2021 Tech Salary Report. “Only months later, the onset of the global pandemic forced organizations in nearly every space to shift sights from growth to adaptation and survival.” 

The Dice report confirms that tech salaries in the U.S. continue to grow. Between 2019 and 2020, average tech salaries increased by 3.6% to $97,859, despite the huge economic effects of COVID-19. 

Tech salaries in Arizona doubled the national increase rate. Salaries increased by 7.6% to $95,514, which landed Phoenix at #7 on the top ten list of cities with the fastest growing salaries. It was just lower than Detroit’s increase and just higher than Houston’s. Charlotte, NC and Orlando, FL both increased by more than 13%, which was by far the most significant change between 2019 and 2020.  

Additionally, the number of tech jobs in Arizona increased by as much as 6.2%, according to a report by the Arizona Technology Council. That’s more growth than some other major tech states, including Nevada, Utah, Texas and California. Arizona has about 201,740 tech jobs total and, since May 2019, the number of STEM job postings also grew to over 32,000, an increase of more than 10,000 postings.

As tech jobs increase, so do jobs in other industries. Nearly four other jobs are created for every tech job.

The Arizona Technology Council report also notes that there are 10,093 technology firms in the state, which represents 4.3% growth there as well. And according to Gregslist, there are currently 698 software companies, 141 more than 2019. 

The report also notes that Arizona leads in 3 major tech industries, including satellite telecommunications, semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing, as well as aerospace product and parts manufacturing. Arizona has attracted major projects in these areas since 2019. Companies like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Nikola and Lucid Motors are building factories in Arizona cities.