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March 9, 2001

Study: Placer a Leader
In Information Technology

FULL REPORT (Acrobat .pdf)

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.IT employment graph

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 area.

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 of $27,088.

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.

FULL REPORT (Acrobat .pdf)


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