© Copyright 2000 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning

High-Tech Industry in Wyoming: 1999 Update1
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

"Computer related Services (rather than high-tech Manufacturing) now makes up the majority of Wyoming's high-tech employment."

An article in the February 1998 issue of Wyoming Labor Force Trends noted that Wyoming’s high-tech industry was “growing quickly, and its wages [were] increasing faster than average.”1 This article uses 1999 data to provide an update on the condition of Wyoming’s high-tech industry. Wyoming’s high-tech industry can be divided into two main components: Manufacturing and Services. Computer related Services (rather than high-tech Manufacturing) now makes up the majority of Wyoming’s high-tech employment. High-tech industry has continued to grow faster than total statewide employment and it continues to pay higher-than-average wages.

Our definition of high-tech industry includes:

SIC2 357 - Computer and Office Equipment Manufacturing

SIC 36 - Electronic and Other Electrical Equipment and Components, Except Computer Equipment Manufacturing

SIC 38 - Measuring, Analyzing, and Controlling Instruments; Photographic, Medical and Optical Goods; Watches and Clocks Manufacturing

SIC 737 - Computer Programming, Data Processing, and Other Computer Related Services.

Figure 1 shows employment in the high-tech industry and total employment in Wyoming. High-tech employment has grown much faster than average. Between 1990 and 1999, high-tech employment grew by 510 jobs or 76.6 percent. During the same period, total employment grew by 17.9 percent.

Figure 2 shows annual average wage for the high-tech industry and for all industries. Since 1990, wages in the high-tech industry have remained above the average wage for all industries. In fact, during the nine-year period, the gap between high-tech wages and the average wage for all industries has widened significantly. In 1990, the wage gap was $203 per year, but by 1999, the gap had increased to $7,750 per year.

During the past nine years, the Services portion of the high-tech industry has grown much faster than the Manufacturing portion. Figure 3 illustrates the composition of high-tech employment. In 1990, Services made up 19.8 percent of the high-tech industry, but by 1999 it represented a majority of employment in the industry (51.8%).

This rapid growth in high-tech Services is part of the reason that we are implementing a new industrial classification system. Beginning in this issue of Trends, certain employment data will be published in NAICS, the North American Industry Classification System. This new system is better designed to capture emerging industries in high-tech and services.

1 David Bullard, “High-Tech Industry in Wyoming: Small, but Growing Fast,” Wyoming Labor Force Trends, February 1998.

2 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Codes are used to group firms that produce similar goods and services into industries. The SIC codes in this article are from the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification Manual.

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