Tech sector growth has seen a 30 per cent increase in its economic impact for Greater Victoria since 2013, according to results of a study released Monday morning. A Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council (VIATEC) report says combined direct and indirect economic impact was $5.22 billion from local technology firms in 2017, up from the $4.03 billion estimates in 2013. The study says tech sector revenue and the number of firms in the region outpaces the national average. VIATEC says the sector is expected to grow and the council says it has adopted a strategic plan to support the region’s tech sector to achieve $10 billion in annual revenue by 2030. Industry revenue has jumped from $1 billion in 2004 to $4.06 in 2017. The study, which surveyed local technology companies, says the number of technology firms has climbed from 910 in 2013 to 955 last year, with 16,775 employees in the region. Of the technology firms in the region, 895 are in the services sector and 60 are in the manufacturing sector. VIATEC says the number of technology firms in the region is expected to reach more than 1,000 by 2020. The technology sector includes firms producing digital and software products and services, to aerospace and pharmaceuticals. The report says the technology sector contributes nearly $14.6 billion into B.C.’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 or roughly seven per cent of the province’s GDP. Wages for tech sector workers in the province have been on a steady rise. The average weekly earnings for tech sector employees was near $1,690 in 2016, compared to just $920 for the average employee in B.C.
University of Victoria senior economics lecturer Alan Chaffe was commissioned as an independent researcher for the study.