NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Technology Brings Economic Growth

February 12, 1997

Social observers relish the fact that we live in a period of great change and swift progress -- pushed ever forward by evolving technologies. Some 75 percent of corporate chief executives say technology is responsible for the sixth year of expansion the economy now entering.

  • In 1995, for the first time, Americans bought more personal computers than televisions.
  • The computer equipment- and services-sector alone is now larger than the auto, steel, mining, petrochemical and natural-gas industries combined.
  • In 1995, with no small help from technology, new business formations rose for the fourth straight year and hit a new high of 770,000.
  • Start-ups have accounted for 67 percent of the more than 12 million new jobs created since the last recession.

Some have been alarmed by employment shifts in the economy; but in fact, corporate layoffs peaked in 1993. Technology is creating more and better jobs than the old manufacturing sector.

  • In 1995, high-tech sector jobs paid an average of $46,986 -- compared with an average U. S. wage of $27,440.
  • Computer-services firms last year added 120,000 jobs and communications firms another 59,000.

Manufacturing, the sector that many worriers point to, isn't doing badly at all. Factory jobs are falling, but output is as high as it ever was -- around 20 percent of gross domestic product. That growth in productivity is a key to higher wages.

Source: Editorial, "The New Economy: Faster, Smarter, Better," Investor's Business Daily, February 12, 1997.


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