States’ Tech Preparedness May Impact How They Flourish In A Digital Economy

The coronavirus outbreak appears to have accelerated a trend toward more automation in daily life and digital economies. Storagecafé, a nationwide storage space marketplace, analyzed which U.S. states are best prepared technologically to adapt to the current circumstances, particularly in regard to the demands on the employment market. The firm studied 10 different factors to determine how well-placed each state is to deal with increasing numbers of people needing jobs in the digital economy, and found Massachusetts, California and Washington are the best-prepared digital economies.

In conducting its study, Storagecafé looked at several metrics. These include how much a state invests in its technical sector and has seen it develop—including tech economic impact, the tech industry’s percentage of the GDP, tech job gains from 2010 to 2019, and share of people working in tech compared to total employment—and weighted at 50 percent of the total; the internet connectivity across a state—internet speed, broadband coverage and what percentage of the population use the internet—and weighted the category at 30 percent of the total; and the population of a state’s access to computers and the proportion of its households with internet subscriptions, weighted at 20 percent of the total.

It found that Massachusetts, California and Washington took the top three spots by producing high scores in the areas the company considered. New Jersey and Maryland round out the top five, and New York, Colorado and Virginia are not far behind. Storagecafé notes that these states offer good internet connectivity and well-developed technological industries, including strong investment and skilled workforces.

While states that have established and nurtured tech hubs have scored higher, some others prove to be well-equipped for digital workers. Utah, which comes in at number nine on the list, has an up-and-coming tech sector and widespread internet usage, plus an affordable housing market. Minnesota, Georgia and Michigan are also considered to be states with notable tech sectors, and they all have relatively affordable housing markets compared to other tech-centric states. They all make the top 20.

In the criteria measured by Storagecafé, Mississippi, West Virginia and Montana are states that do not appear to be as well prepared for the changes in the digital economy.

For more on Storagecafé’s findings and what COVID-19 may mean in the push toward a more digital economy, click here.

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