The pulse of Automation Alley’s technology industry continues to beat strongly, despite a wounded economy. Yes, high fuel costs, strong competition, and legacy costs have inflicted pain on the advanced automotive sector of Automation Alley. However, the region’s technology industry has proven it can stand on its own, and advance despite the automotive industry’s struggles, statewide economic malaise, and nationwide economic uncertainty.
This report, the fourth annual assessment of Automation Alley’s technology industry, illustrates the impressive size and breadth of the industry, and offers evidence of future growth and advancements. The analysis also shows that the region’s technology industry reaches beyond advanced automotive technologies. While employment in the advanced automotive sector has declined, jobs have been added in sectors like advanced manufacturing and the life sciences. The analysis further shows that even without the advanced automotive sector, Automation Alley’s technology industry is a much larger part of the economy than it is at the state and national levels. Indeed, with advanced automotive. the Automation Alley technology industry is 63 percent larger than the national industry in terms of share of total employment. It is still 13 percent larger if advanced automotive is excluded from the comparison.
Also included in this report are results from the first-ever survey of Automation Alley technology companies. With assistance from Mitchell Interactive, we collected information from 200 technology businesses throughout Automation Alley. The findings help us pick up where employment and payroll data from past years leave off, providing an even clearer picture of the industry today. As would be expected, most respondents viewed the overall economy as weak. However, most also expected improvements in the coming months, and had positive views of the region as an environment in which to operate a technology business.