Placer a Leader
In Information Technology
Placer County has the highest percentage of employment in
Information Technology in the Sacramento Region, with an IT
concentration approaching some of California's leading IT
economies, according to a new study by Robert Fountain of
the Regional Economics & Land Use Institute at California
State University, Sacramento.
The report will be formally presented on Friday, March 9 at
the Placer County Economic Development Summit at the Ridge
Golf Course in Auburn. That event begins at 7:30 a.m.
The study finds Information technology in Placer County provides
about 7.1 percent of the county's total employment, well ahead
of the Sacramento Region's other counties. That's a major
revision of the view of Placer as primarily a manufacturing
The IT concentration in Placer County places it well ahead
of the California average of 6.2%, and of the major Southern
California IT economies except San Diego. Santa Clara and
San Francisco are the California IT leaders. Placer County's
IT percentage is just below that of Alameda County, which
includes the Tri-Valley communities of Livermore, Pleasanton,
and San Ramon, which are viewed as leading new economy nodes.
Overall, Placer County had 418 firms employing 7,304 employees
in the IT sectors. The annual IT payroll for the county was
about $363 million, or about 18 percent of the county's total
private payroll. In 1998, the average wage in Placer County
IT firms was $51,593, nearly twice the overall county level
The Information Technology (IT) or "new economy"
includes not only the manufacture of computers, servers, network
and communications equipment, but also the computer network
services, software, digital network services, and applications
of this technology. It is the nation's fastest growing economic
sector, responsible for most of the past decade's gains in
employment and productivity.
The study shows that most of Placer's IT firms are startups,
not spillover from Silicon Valley. Further, they do not primarily
depend on Silicon Valley customers. Most of the customers
are either in the Sacramento Region or elsewhere in California,
the United States and foreign countries. Further, employers
have no expectation of a recession in the Placer County IT
industry. Only 2.2 percent of firms expect a downturn in employment
in 2001, while 52.2 percent expect to expand in 2001 and about
46 percent expect no change.
IT firms also indicate they are happy to be in Placer County,
with 85 percent giving it an above average or very satisfied
rating. Only 6 percent were below average, and no firms responded
as "very dissatisfied." They said quality of communities
and residential amenities, and other quality of life issues,
are top reasons for their satisfaction. Traffic was not considered
a problem for those who live and work in the county.
More information is available by contacting Robert Fountain
at 916 719 2037. Details on tomorrow's Economic Development
Summit are available from the Placer County Office of Economic
Development at (530) 889-4016.
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