About Michael Mandel

Chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington; Other affiliations:president, South Mountain Economics LLC; senior fellow, Mack Center for Technological Innovation, Wharton; former chief economist, BusinessWeek; author of the textbook "Economics:The Basics" (2nd edition).

London tech/info job growth in Q1 equals SF-SV, New York, and Boston combined

When I was in London a couple of weeks ago, I stayed in Shoreditch, one of the key tech centers in London, and the energy was palpable.

Indeed, when we look at the latest statistics, London’s first quarter job growth was off the charts. In particular,  London’s tech/info sector grew by 9.6% from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014. The next closest U.S. state was Massachusetts, at a 6.2% increase in tech/info jobs over the past year (we have data for 23 states).

Looking at the data in terms of the increase in the number of tech/info jobs, rather than growth rate, gives an equally impressive result. London added 36,000 tech/info jobs over the past year, roughly about equal to the combined gain in tech/info jobs in San Francisco-Silicon Valley, New York City, and the Boston metro area (respectively 18.3, 10.6, and 7.4 thousand). (Note:The SF-Silicon Valley number includes computer and electronic products manufacturing, a category covering companies such as Apple).








tech/info job growth, 1Q13-1Q14
percent thousands
London(UK) 9.6% 36.0
Boston metro 7.1% 7.4
SF-Silicon Valley 5.4% 13.9
SF-Silicon Valley* 4.7% 18.3
New York City 4.5% 10.6
Massachusetts 6.2% 9.3
Texas 3.9% 12.6
Utah 3.6% 1.9
North Carolina 3.5% 3.8
California 3.4% 23.3
Oregon 3.4% 1.5
Florida 3.4% 6.8
Washington 2.9% 4.2
New York 2.8% 9.6
Colorado 2.2% 2.6
Michigan 1.8% 1.8
Georgia 1.6% 2.5
Minnesota 1.2% 1.0
Nebraska 0.7% 0.2
New Jersey 0.3% 0.4
Missouri 0.1% 0.1
Alabama 0.1% 0.0
Ohio -0.5% -0.6
Illinois -0.8% -1.3
Pennsylvania -0.8% -1.2
Connecticut -1.0% -0.5
Maryland -2.8% -3.1
Virginia -3.1% -6.8
For UK, tech/info sector defined as “Information and Communications”
For US, tech/info sector defined as Information (NAICS 51) plus
Computer Systems Design (NAICS 5415).
Table includes all states with published data on 1Q14 tech/info jobs
*Includes computer and electronic products manufacturing
Data: Office for National Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, South
Mountain Economics



London-East-Southeast region outpaces California in tech/info

In the study London: Digital City on the Rise, we compared the London-East-Southeast region to California, pointing out that the tech/info sector in the combined UK region was growing faster than the American state.

According to just-released data, that trend continued into the first quarter of 2014. From the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014, the London-East-Southeast region added 61,000 tech/info jobs, for an 8.4% gain. Meanwhile, over the same period, California added only 23,000 tech/info jobs, for a 3.4% gain.



London and surrounding regions vs California

In the new SME report, “London: Digital City on the Rise,” we note that

the tech/info sector in the combined London-East-Southeast region is growing faster than California, even taking into account the rapid growth of San Francisco.

Below is a chart that shows the difference. Between 2009 and 2013, tech/info employment rose by 11.4% in the combined London-East-South East regions of the UK, compared to an 8.8% rise in California. If we add in the computer and electronic products manufacturing industry into California’s total, that reduces the state’s growth rate even further.



There are two factors explaining this result. First, the tech/info sectors in the East and South East regions are actually growing quite smartly. At the same time, the tech/info sector in the Los Angeles metro region has been lagging globally, showing only a 2.9% growth from 2009 to 2013.



NYC tech/info sector continues to grow

The New York City tech/info sector grew by 4.1% in the first four months of 2014, compared to a year earlier.* This is quite strong, considering that the national U.S. tech/info sector grew by less than 1%. over the same stretch.

*This is based on the same definition of tech/info sector used in the London paper–namely, the information sector plus computer systems design (NAICS 5415).

The Evolution of Journalism

We regularly write about the evolution of journalism (our last post can be found here). Perhaps not surprisingly, there are two separate trends. First, employment of “news analysts, reporters, and correspondents” was up 7% in 2013, continuing its rebound from losses in the Great Recession.


At the same time, the number of editors continued to fall, down about 6% in 2013.  True, not all editors are in journalism. Still, these figures suggest a pattern…more journalists who actually generate content, fewer editors to process that content before it goes online.


How Big is the “Big Data” Economy?

As part of our paper on the New York City tech/information sector, we analyzed help-wanted ads in order to  a preliminary estimate of the size of the “Big Data” Economy in New York and the whole country. Our preliminary estimate is that today, the Big Data Economy includes roughly 450,000 workers nationally. That includes tech workers with Big Data skills; supporting personnel in the same companies (marketing, accounting, HR, legal, and so forth); and a conservative estimate of spillover jobs produced in the rest of the economy.*

Judging by these preliminary estimates, the Big Data Economy is one-third smaller than the App Economy. Still, 450K jobs is quite significant . We will be sharpening up this estimate in the future, and perhaps doing a geographical analysis as well.

*One little quirk here. This estimate includes spillover jobs, so as to be consistent with our published App Economy numbers. By contrast, the estimate published in table 10 of the New York City tech/information paper did not include spillover jobs, to be consistent with the industry-based numbers in that paper.

Tech Employers Step Up Hispanic Hiring

Emerging Occupation News, August 13, 2013 

Laura Weidman Powers,  executive director and co-founder of CODE2040, has a vision: She wants her organization, founded in 2012 and based in the Bay Area,  to encourage “Blacks and Latinos to enter the tech workforce at a greater rate, and to stay and succeed there as engineers, technologists, thought leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs.”  Edward Avila, CEO and co-founder of the Manos Accelerator in Silicon Valley, has a vision as well: He wants his new organization to ease the way for the next generation of Latino-led tech start-ups.  And NewMe Accelerator, intended to “educate, accelerate and empower”  minority and women tech entrepreneurs,  is going to be running 3-day “PopUp” events in Miami, NYC, and Kansas City over the next few months.

But even as Powers, Avila, and others tackle the tough job of opening doors for minority entrepreneurs, tech employers seem to finally be getting the idea, and becoming more welcoming to jobseekers from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Emerging Occupation News has crunched the government data, and uncovered these positive signs:

  • The number of Hispanics/Latinos employed in computer and mathematical occupations has risen 26% over the past two years, compared to a 10% overall gain in tech employment.
  • The number of blacks employed in computer and mathematical occupations has risen by 24% over the past two years
  • The number of Asians employed in computer and mathematical occupations has risen by 19% over the past two years.
  • The number of women employed in computer and mathematical occupations has risen by 14% over the past two years

These positive signs of diversity show up clearly in the chart below.

Screen Shot 2013-08-09 at 9.20.40 AM

For the rest of this post, I’m going to focus on Hispanics/Latinos, who have been noticeably under-represented in the tech fields (in future posts I will look at blacks, Asians, and women).  The Hispanic share of computer and mathematical occupations in the U.S. basically stagnated for a decade.

In the last year, however, there’s been a sharp increase in the Hispanic share of the tech fields, as shown by the following chart.   Does this reflect a change in supply or demand? Probably both

Hispanic tech

Data from the Department of Education allows us to look at the number of Hispanic computer science graduates. From the 2007-2008 academic year to the 2010-2011 academic year, the number of computer and information science bachelor degrees going to Hispanics rose by 23%, double the overall rate of increase.

That’s good news. The schools are producing more Hispanic computer science grads, and they are finding jobs. There’s still a lot more to do on diversity, but in the tech field, things seem to be getting better rather than worse.

Creative Class Recovery Finally Arrives

Emerging Occupation News, August 3, 2013

Can you prosper by choosing a ‘creative’ occupation? Many young Americans are naturally drawn to creative occupations, such as artists, designers, entertainers, sports, and media workers.   (yes, I know that sports don’t seem to  belong there, but that’s how BLS breaks out the workforce).  These occupations seem to be both more interesting and less susceptible to foreign competition.

These occupations make up part of what urban studies expert Richard Florida called the creative class.    The problem:  Many Americans working in these creative occupations lost their jobs during the early stages of the crisis.  Panicked corporate execs saw little need for designers or artists when the world seemed to be collapsing.


But now creative workers have something to rejoice. Employment in arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media professions has  exceeded 3 million for the first time, and finally gone above pre-crisis levels. This is not a mere flash in the pan. If we look at 12-month moving averages, we see the same pattern, where  employment in the creative occupations has finally decisively climbed above their previous peaks.

In future blog items, I will delve more deeply into the details of this recovery. But it may be that ‘creative’ is finally starting to pay off.

Added: Want ads for these creative occupations are up 12.8% over the past year (comparing June 2013 to a year earlier).  That’s compared to a 5.3% gain for all want ads. Some of the big gainers include graphic designers (as I pointed out here) and film and video editors.