About Michael Mandel

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

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 tech/info boom continues in first quarter

So the first quarter job statistics have come out for London, and the tech/info boom continues. London tech/info jobs are up 9.6% in the first quarter of 2014 compared to a year earlier. Coming after an 11.0% gain in the fourth quarter of 2013, we see a picture of a digital city on the rise.



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.