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High tech fastest growing industry in Montana

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High tech companies brought in more than $1 billion in revenue in 2016 and the industry is growing seven times faster than the rest of the Montana economy.

A University of Montana Bureau of Business Economic Research (BBER) study showed $1.09 billion in revenue last year, up from $867 million in 2015. Companies in the high tech sector are also expected to add more than 960 jobs with average annual salaries of $60,000.

"Our third annual report shows once again the incredible opportunity for the high-tech industry to transform Montana's economy by bringing high revenues and high-paying jobs into the state," said Montana High Tech Alliance executive director Christina Henderson.

The BBER survey shows 27.7%  of High Tech Business Alliance (HTBA) members stated attracting talent and hiring skilled technology workers as the biggest impediment to growth.

"This report underscores the growing need for technology workers in Montana, "Kathy Boelter, founder of Arrow Solutions Group in Billings. "But it also shows potential job candidates the strength of our tech industry and hopefully gives them more confidence to consider opportunities in Montana."

Of the companies surveyed,  77% of alliance members and 63% of non-members would encourage someone to start a business in Montana.

"Overall, this is a strong endorsement of Montana's business climate," said John Baldridge, BBER director of survey research.The survey used the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics definition for high tech

The third annual BBER survey was commissioned by the Montana HTBA and was sent to 242 alliance member companies and 304 non-member companies.

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