Daily Court Reporter - News Report notes Columbus' rise as a high-tech center
Report notes Columbus' rise as a high-tech center
BRANDON KLEIN, Daily Reporter Staff Writer
Since the city of Columbus won the Smart City Challenge in 2016, central Ohio's digital economy continues to gain national attention.
The region ranks 31st among 382 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas in both the number of employees and establishments from the internet sector, also known as the digital economy, according to a joint report from the Internet Association and National League of Cities.
The report highlights Columbus along with Kansas City, Mo., Phoenix and Pittsburgh as "up-and-coming" technology cities and focuses on them as case studies rather than established technology hubs in Seattle and Silicon Valley.
The report's goal was to draw lessons from cities that are actively pursuing a greater integration of technology into their economies, environments, and policy-making.
"Every single community in America benefits from the internet, and its importance to Americans in all cities will only continue to grow," said IA President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Beckerman, in a statement. "Smart policy-making at all levels of government - especially from cities - is essential to ensure the internet economy continues to grow and succeed in the 21st century."
Columbus has 25,400 jobs and 1,500 businesses in the internet sector and which makes up 3.1 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively, of the region's total jobs and businesses, according to the report.
Among the other case studies, Phoenix ranked No. 17 in internet employment with 46,400 jobs and No. 18 in internet establishments with 2,900 businesses.
Kansas City ranked No. 19 in internet employment with 45,500 jobs and No. 26 in internet establishments with 1,700 businesses.
Pittsburgh's digital economy ranked No. 28 in employment with 26,400 jobs and No. 29 in establishments with 1,600 businesses.
"Our research offers a roadmap for city leaders to spark new innovation and jobs in the fastest-growing sector in the company," stated IA Chief Economist Christopher Hooton. "These case studies across the country show that cities can leverage the internet economy to promote economic inclusion and build well-rounded labor markets."
The New York City region's digital economy ranks first in employment with 295,000 jobs and 20,100, which makes up 3.7 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively, of total jobs and businesses in the region.
On the other hand, the digital economies of Columbus and Kansas City are both disproportionately high, based on their populations, while Phoenix and Pittsburgh do not, according to the report.
Using 2014 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Columbus' population was about 826,900, while Kansas City's population was about 908,300.
Columbus beat 77 U.S. cities in the U.S. Department of Transportation's Smart City Challenge in 2016.
The city received $40 million the USDOT plus $10 million Vulcan Inc., a Paul G. Allen Company, to launch the Smart Columbus.
The initiative is working to fully integrate innovative technologies, including self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors, into its transportation network.
"In 2016 Columbus became known, almost overnight, as an innovation hub when it won the Smart City Challenge; however, it is also commonly lauded for its general economic strength and future prospects," the IA report stated.
Additionally, the report recommended city leaders across the nation on how to develop their internet sectors by designing smart cities, support open data systems, facilitate pilot projects and investing in public-private partnerships.
The internet sector has contributed about $1 trillion to the U.S. economy, or about 6 percent of the U.S. gross domestic production in 2014.
It's contributed about 3 million jobs, or 3 percent of total employment, and more than 231,000 establishments, or 3.1 percent of all businesses, for the same year.
Date Published: February 26, 2018