Research, Engineering & Other High-Tech
The Research, Engineering & Other High-Tech Industry cluster includes four industry clusters that can be considered “high-tech” industries: Research & Engineering Services; Aerospace, Defense & National Security; Information Technology Services; and Electronics. It is important to keep in mind that much of the “high-tech” employment in Polk County is actually situated within firms serving other industries. The data included in this section presents only “high-tech” workers that are employed in the four industry clusters listed above and does not capture “high-tech” employment occurring within other industry clusters. Therefore, the overall number of “high-tech workers” in Polk County is actually larger than the numbers presented here.
Industry Profile & Employment Trends in Polk County and Central Florida
The Research, Engineering & Other High-Tech cluster employed 3,433 workers in Polk County in Q3 2007, or about 1.8% of the county’s total workforce. Employment in these clusters has grown by an average of 10.7% annually from 2003 to 2007. The combined employment concentration ratio for these clusters is 0.307. Average Q3 2007 wages for these clusters are $52,832, well above the Polk County average for all industries.
Research & Engineering Services accounts for over three-quarters of total “high-tech” industry employment, or about 2,717 workers in Q3 2007. Employment has been growing at a very strong rate of 14.4% annually. This cluster’s employment concentration ratio of 0.642 is the highest among the “high-tech” industry clusters included in the Research, Engineering & Other High-Tech cluster. Average cluster wages are $51,915.
The IT Services industry cluster has fewer than 290 employees working in 85 firms in Polk County in 2007 and it has an employment concentration ratio of 0.101. From 2003 to 2007, cluster employment fell by -8.8% annually. Average annual wages for this cluster are very high, at $76,805. Almost all of the cluster’s employment is in Computer Systems Design and Related Services.
Aerospace, Defense & National Security has fewer than 280 employees and 24 firms in 2007, or about 7.3% of total “high-tech” industry employment. The employment concentration ratio is very low, at 0.095. In recent years, Polk County’s employment in this cluster has grown by 9.2% annually. Average cluster wages are $43,460.
Electronics employs fewer than 200 workers in 27 firms in Polk County in 2007 and has been growing at a rate of 11.6% annually in recent years. The cluster’s employment concentration ratio is 0.121 and average wages are $42,540. Polk County’s employment is mainly concentrated in Instruments and Related Products Manufacturing for Measuring, Displaying and Controlling Industrial Process Variables.
Research, Engineering & Other High-Tech Sub-Cluster Employment by County
Research, Engineering & Other High-Tech Sub-Cluster Employment
|Sub-Cluster||% of Sub-Cluster||Total Employment||# of Establishments||Average Annual Wage||Avg. Annual % Growth in Employment|
|Research & Engineering Services||79.1%||2,717||313||$51,915||14.4%||3.9%|
|Landscape Architectural Svcs.|
|Marketing Research & Public Opinion Polling|
|Aerospace, Defense & National Security||7.3%||<279||24||$43,460||9.2%||0.5%|
|Ball Bearing, Ammunition & Other Metal Product Manuf.|
|Aircraft Maintenance & Refueling Svcs. (Other Support Activities for Air Trans.)|
|Aircraft, Engine & Parts Manuf.|
|Measuring, Testing & Navigational Instrument Manuf.|
In Polk County, a “hidden” asset is the large number of IT-related employees that work in companies whose primary NAICS code is not related to information technology. Polk County also benefits from the regional focus on technology, which is serving to build awareness of the technology-related assets of the entire Central Florida region.