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Virginia sees Q2 tech job growth amid COVID-19, fueled by Fairfax County; state shines in business climate rankings

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Dice, a leading tech-career hub connecting employers with skilled technology professionals, issued its Q2 Tech Job Report revealing that job postings in Virginia during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic rose 11 percent compared to the second quarter of 2019. Three Virginia-based employers named in the Dice report “ General Dynamics, Leidos and Booz Allen Hamilton “ are all headquartered in Fairfax County.

The Board of Supervisors last year funded the Fairfax County Economic Development Authoritys (FCEDA) talent attraction and retention initiative because of a critical shortage of skilled workers particularly in technology sectors, and with this report we see that vision paying off as many of our companies continue to hire for tech positions even during the pandemic, said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey C. McKay.

In terms of year-over-year changes, Virginia was the only state in Dices top four list to report an increase in quarterly job postings. In comparison, Dice reported declines in California, Texas and New York job postings of 28 percent, 2 percent and 34 percent, respectively.

During 2019 and 2020, name-brand tech companies have chosen Fairfax County and Northern Virginia to expand their footprint: Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Google and Facebook all made location decisions in Fairfax County since Q2 2019.

The fact that companies continued to hire in Virginia for tech talent during the pandemic, as seen in the Dice report, highlights the resilience of the economy here relative to other places “ and spotlights how strong a technology community we have here, said FCEDA President and CEO Victor Hoskins.

This week, Virginia also ranked highly across a variety of categories in the 2020 State Rankings by Business Facilities, a national publication that is a location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals:

  • No. 1 in Cybersecurity Leaders
  • No. 1 in Digital Infrastructure
  • No. 1 in Unmanned Aerial Systems
  • No. 2 in Business Climate
  • No. 3 in Workforce Development/Talent Attraction

The 16th annual rankings by Business Facilities highlights how Virginia has taken a leadership position in cloud computing and cybersecurity, as the top-ranked state in the publications Cybersecurity Leaders ranking. Fairfax County is the U.S. hub for cybersecurity and national-defense assets thanks to its robust cyber cluster, which includes more than 500 firms ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. In fact, of the top Cybersecurity 500 global firms, more than 50 have a presence in Fairfax County, with nearly half of those headquartered in the area.

“The Business Facilities rankings are exactly the kinds of input that business executives want to see when they evaluate location decisions “ what kind of business environment can they rely on,” added Hoskins.

Boasting 8,700 technology establishments and more than 50 Cybersecurity 500 firms, Fairfax County is a proven resilient tech hub. It is the business hub of the Washington, D.C., area, which is projected to add more than 130,000 tech jobs within the next five years, outranking cities such as San Francisco and Austin.

Earlier this month, CBRE, the worlds largest real estate firm, issued its 2020 Scoring Tech Talent report that ranks the 50 largest technology markets in the U.S. and Canada. The Washington area jumped two spots to number 2, behind only the San Francisco Bay area. The CBRE scorecard uses 13 metrics to measure each markets depth, vitality and attractiveness to companies seeking tech talent and to tech workers seeking employment.

The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority promotes Fairfax County as a business and technology center. In addition to its headquarters in Tysons, Fairfax Countys largest business district, the FCEDA maintains business investment offices in six important global business centers: Bangalore/Mumbai, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, Seoul and Tel Aviv. Follow the FCEDA on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

The FCEDA is a member of the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance. Other members are the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, Arlington County, City of Fairfax, City of Falls Church, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, City of Manassas, City of Manassas Park and the Prince William County Department of Economic Development.

Alan Fogg: afogg@fceda.org, 571-213-5065 (m)

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