- Each job in the U.S. consumer technology sector directly or indirectly supports nearly three non-tech jobs throughout the nation's economy, according to a new report from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), prepared by PwC. The report said this means consumer tech jobs support as many as 18.2 million U.S. jobs and $1.3 trillion in annual wages.
- The consumer tech sector directly employed 5.1 million workers and supported 13.1 million more jobs as of 2017, and each directly employed worker earned on average $111,000, a sum higher than that of 82% of the overall economy, CTA said. The trade organization's report also found tech exports of goods and services directly or indirectly supported $302 billion in economic activity, with 1.2 million U.S. jobs reliant on consumer tech exports.
- States that have significant shares of tech workers include California, which held 3 million jobs directly attributable to consumer tech, CTA said. Texas, Florida and New York each held over 1 million such jobs.
CTA's report comes at a time in which workplaces are increasingly adopting and integrating new technologies in an effort to make work more efficient and streamlined. There's also a recruiting angle to this dynamic: employers with outdated IT systems and other technologies are actually worse at attracting talent, according to a 2018 Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report. The same report identified self service and giving workers the ability to decide for themselves what tech tools to use as areas of opportunity for employers.
IT help desks and Slack channels aren't the only applications for consumer technologies. The recruiting process, for example, has become host to a number of innovations, from the process of finding a job advertisement to the screening and interview scheduling processes.
"The growth of the tech industry is emblematic of the growth of our nation's economy – every company today is, or needs to be a tech company," Gary Shapiro, president and CEO at CTA, said in a statement. Shapiro predicted that future tech developments within the next five years — including 5G mobile communications, artificial intelligence and quantum computing — will provide "an era of new technology."
But the promise of new gadgets doesn't necessarily mean adoption will match enthusiasm; many employers still say they're behind on digital transformation goals, be it due to budget shortfalls or senior leadership refusing to get behind ambitious targets. HR not only needs to sit down with leadership to present the business case for transformation, but also must prepare teams for new processes when they do arrive. In a previous Q&A, Box chief people officer Christy Lake told HR Dive about the need for HR to work with IT teams and develop "agile" processes that make it easier for different departments to communicate and collaborate. Lake also said that Box doesn't put tech in the hands of teams without guidance; the company shows them how change will lead to better outcomes.