San Jose No. 1 in nation for advanced industries

San Jose has the largest advanced industry sector in the nation, such as the booming software and biotech industries, making it one of the most competitive economies in the U.S., according to a report released Tuesday.

The report, from the Brookings Institute’s Metropolitan Policy Program, offers state and metropolitan rankings of advanced industry intensity — including aerospace, engineering and energy jobs — as determined by number of these jobs as a percentage of total employment. At the metropolitan level, San Jose led the country with 30 percent of its workforce in the advanced industry sector; it was followed by Seattle, with 16 percent, and Wichita, Kan., which has 15.5 percent. San Francisco trailed at No. 4 with just 14 percent of its workforce in advanced industries.

San Jose, along with Detroit and Seattle, was praised for having depth and balance across multiple advanced industry categories — not just relying on a single industry, such as software, to power the local economy. Among the 291,700 people employed in 2013 in advanced industries in San Jose, 46.1 percent worked in manufacturing, 53.8 percent worked for services companies and just 0.1 percent worked in the energy sector.

According to the report, the advanced industries sector employs 12.2 million Americans and, factoring in both direct and indirect employment, supports over one-quarter of all U.S. jobs. In 2013, the average worker in this sector earned $90,000 — nearly twice as much as the average worker in other industries — and these wages have been rising. That reality is evident in the growing wealth — and resulting wealth gap — in the Bay Area.

Photo: A view of downtown San Jose, Calif., on Monday, Jan. 12, 2015. Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group.


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