The High Tech and Manufacturing Industry is growing quickly in the state of Montana. The High Tech Business Alliance (HTBA), a conglomerate of high tech companies in the state of Montana, was surveyed by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) to diagnose the health of Montana’s high tech industry. Turns out, the state of the high tech industry isn’t just healthy, its skyrocketing.
According to the BBER report, the industry has accounted for a large amount of the total revenue and wages in Montana.
HTBA members grossed 632 million dollars in sales, which has helped them both raise their wages and take on additional employees.
These HTBA companies paid $139 million in pay roll. Employees, on average, have been earning twice the salary as those in other industries. Currently, they are averaging $50,702 a year. Even better, many of the HTBA members are planning on raising wages by 7% in 2015.
Over 2015, these companies hope to add 400 new jobs—a 15% increase. Some companies have projected their growth rates to be 8 to 10 times higher than the state’s overall economic growth rate.
From a real estate perspective, the most eye opening quote in the report described the reason why the industry may be booming. After reading the quote, it is easy to see a parallel in what is attracting both workers and new homebuyers to town.
"HTBA members find that Montana’s quality of life its lifestyle, the work life balance available here, the recreation opportunities, and the beauty of the landscape provides them a significant advantage in business."
The same qualities mentioned above are often top attractors in real estate as well. Usually, the same qualities of an area are attracting new workers and new homeowners.
Reports released earlier this year by the University of Montana and Headwaters Economics, has shown that growth in industries like the high tech industry, have put Gallatin County as the state’s leader in economic growth. The Headwaters Report suggested that the area’s growth had a lot to do with the nearby activities and public land. Bozeman has a deep culture, with arts and events readily available. It is also a very easy town to live in and its easy to commute to outdoor destinations. And, as most of the high tech companies have found homes in either Bozeman or Missoula, it seems clear that the surrounding valleys, parks and activities do a lot to attract out of state people to Montana.
The City of Bozeman has targeted the tech industry as a crucial aspect of their economic development plan. The report was produced using a survey of 78 of the 143 members of the HTBA.