The NH Tech Sector

The NH high tech industry is a diverse sector with a focus on many subject areas including information technology support/services, enterprise software, consulting, hardware and web and social media to name a few.

According to the Economic Modeling Specialists International, the NH high tech sector employs nearly 44,000 people and contributes nearly $3 billion to the state’s GDP in salaries alone due to the higher than average pay in the sector. The overall economic impact of the sector is significantly higher. In addition, these businesses are major taxpayers in terms of the business enterprise tax, business profits tax and local property taxes.

According to the NH Center for Public Policy, “advanced manufacturing and high technology businesses are the leading drivers of New Hampshire’s economy. Jobs in this sector pay higher wages and export products from the state to other areas of the nation and the world, effectively transferring outside money into the state’s economy. For these reasons, this sector is the strongest engine of economic activity in New Hampshire.”

NH high tech companies typically are smaller in size, with 61% under 50 employees compared to 46% nationally.

Near-Term Growth
Our tech companies are optimistic regarding near-term growth, with 58% expecting improvement for the sector over the next six months and 71% expecting individual company growth. Within that growth, the top sector areas expected to see the most growth are:
• software and application development
• advanced manufacturing
• energy technology/cleantech
• cybersecurity

Companies expect to invest in the following areas in those growth areas:
• investments in new business and product lines
• technology expenditures
• marketing and advertising
• professional development

Access to Capital
The top concern for New Hampshire companies about what could inhibit that expected growth is access to credit/capital, with 48% of company owners expressing concern as compared to 23% nationally; in 2013, the number of company owners concerned about access to capital was 33%. Other concerns included downward trends in pricing, unexpected shocks to their market, lack of confidence in the market and talent shortage.

Business Climate; taxes and regulation
For those thinking of starting a business in the region, the Northeast ranked the highest at 48% in terms of being a top-tier location for tech startups, however, New Hampshire was only viewed as a top-tier location by 17% of respondents while 57% gave it a mid-tier ranking. Two factors rose to the top in terms of what does make New Hampshire attractive – the quality of life at 80% and the entrepreneurship/innovation ecosystem at 60%, both well above national averages.

On the taxation/regulation issue, 33% believe that corporate tax rates are generally too high on businesses as compared to 26% nationally.

The NH high tech sector employs nearly 44,000 people, which is 9% above the national average. Those high tech workers average a salary of $32.26/hr or approximately $68,000 per year. Those averages are just under the national average of $33.87/hr.

The growth expectation for NH in the tech sector is 6% over the next five years. Drilling down in this area and getting specific information on what skills our companies need today and foresee needing in the near term is a high priority for the Alliance. 78% of respondents have a moderate or significant shortage of skilled workers, a number that is consistent with the Northeast and the country as a whole. The good news is that 55% of respondents plan to hire for new positions in the next year while only 10% plan to reduce staff. Both numbers improved significantly over 2013, but the hiring statistic does lag behind the national average of 63%.

The demand for workforce is high. The average openings for high tech jobs are approximately 1,835, with approximately 1,620 of those positions being filled. More positions are advertised four times on average. The largest demand is for software developers, followed by industrial engineers, computer systems analysts, computer users support specialists and network and computer system administrators.