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CompTIA: Tech Industry Has Huge Impact on U.S. Economy

Most people know that information technology is big business. New research by CompTIA adds a dose of perspective to that perception, revealing just how vital to the economy IT can be.

Woman using smartphone with coffeeWe all know that, economically speaking, the IT industry is big — but sometimes it’s helpful to get a sense of how big it really is. CompTIA can help, with the recent release of its Tech Trade Snapshot 2017. This report, published May 3, helps put some sense of size into the “How big is big?” question.


Here are some highlights to chew on:


● U.S. exports of tech products and services came to an estimated $309 billion in 2016. (Source: U.S. International Trade Association)
● Exports make up around one-quarter of the revenue generated in the U.S. tech industry as a whole. For every $3 spent here in the U.S. on tech, another $1 comes from outside our borders.
● Tech exports support 4 out of 10 U.S. manufacturing jobs.
● The top five states for tech products include (in production order): Texas, California, Florida, Oregon and Illinois.
● Mexico and Canada account for the bulk of tech exports ($74.8 billion to Mexico and Canada for 2016, about 25 percent of that year’s $309 billion total).
● The US runs its largest trade surplus with Canada (nearly $18 bilion in 2016).


All of this information, and a great deal more, is featured in the aforelinked report, and is very much worth downloading and reading. (Site registration is required, but is free to the public. CompTIA certainly wouldn’t mind, of course, if lots of readers also signed up for a fee-based Premium Membership in the organization.)


Interestingly, while overall dollars have gone up in the export of tech products and services, the product side has been declining slightly. Of the $309 billion number for 2016, $202 billion was for tech products, and the remaining $107 billion for services. That product number is down compared to the past four years, as this nifty bar chart shows:


Ed T Figure 1 05 12 2017


Note that 2016 drops the bar back to a level between 2011 and 2012, with a variation between 3.35 percent (2014) and 0.5 percent (2012). This is almost small enough to say that those numbers are pretty much flat since 2011, which tells me that U.S. technology exports are maintaining their equilibrium even in the face the global slow-growth/no-growth economic situation.