Austin High Tech Industry Thrives




Because of the high tech industry in Austin, Fast Company magazine has named it a Startup Hub on its annual 30 Fastest Cities in the World list.

Photo Courtesy of Dell, Inc

The rise, fall and rise again of Austin’s technology industry has proved that the city is resilient when it comes to starting, growing and nurturing successful businesses – even in a down economy.

Consider that, back in 2008 – even as the recession gathered steam – Texas saw the second largest high-tech employment gains in the nation. The addition of 14,600 high-tech jobs brought the industry total to 492,400 in 2008 – with the largest tech employment gains in computer systems design and related services; engineering services; and R&D and testing labs.

Today, Texas remains the second-largest “cyberstate” in terms of total technology industry employment, behind California and ahead of New York. Consider that, according to the most recent figures from the Texas Workforce Commission (May 2012), the Professional and Business Services industry (which includes technology) has had overall positive growth from April 2011 to April 2012 with a total employment increase of 39,500 jobs – a three percent gain. And, Austin ranked fourth among the country’s 200 largest metropolitan areas on the Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities list, which ranks cities according to metrics like job creation and salary and technology growth.

Top technology employers in Austin include such nationally known companies as Samsung, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Apple, Inc., Applied Materials, Cisco Systems, Dell, Inc., Freescale Semiconductor, IBM, Intel, and 3M, plus numerous startup companies. Most of these businesses are also either based in Austin, or they’ve chosen to locate large portions of their operations here.

In fact, Fast Company magazine has named Austin, Texas a Startup Hub on its annual 30 Fastest Cities in the World list, with criteria that included “a culture that nurtures creative action and game-changing enterprise, innovation and energy.”

We’ve also been ranked among the Top 10 Hottest Wireless Cities, with about 11 free wireless hotspots for every 100,000 residents. Austin’s ranking is credited to a strong grassroots wireless movement, especially the Austin City Wireless Project (www.austincitywireless.org).

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