PORTLAND, Ore. — May 9, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. and International Data Corp. (IDC) have released the findings of a study conducted by IDC examining the health of the Oregon economy, and the diagnosis is good. The study reveals that the Oregon economy is healthy in information technology, with software leading the way in job growth overall, generating gains of 4.4 percent in the last year. The IT ecosystem alone accounts for more than 13 percent of Oregon’s tax revenues.
For every dollar that Microsoft generates in revenue for Oregon, almost $10 is created by Microsoft’s local partners. Oregon’s IT growth is built on community development and educational opportunities. Through business relationships within the state, Microsoft helped generate more than $3 billion in IT spending and more than 42 percent of the IT employment and tax revenues for the entire state. Since 2000, Microsoft, its partners and employees have contributed more than $27 million in cash and software to more than 900 Oregon community organizations, including the Oregon Symphony, the Software Association of Oregon and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
“Aligning our technologies with the Microsoft platform has enabled WebTrends to innovate our Web analytics hosted services and software faster and more profitably,” said Greg Drew, CEO and president of WebTrends Inc. “As a result, we are growing quickly and are proud to have brought on board 110 talented tech professionals in the last 12 months alone.”
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft chief executive officer, demonstrated that commitment in a tangible way by cutting the ribbon for the Northwest Center for Engineering, Science and Technology on the campus of Portland State University, an event also attended by Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski and PSU President Dan Bernstine. Housed within the Engineering Center will be the Microsoft Innovation Center, designed to help provide greater opportunities for students, startups, businesses, nonprofits, governments and academia. With IT set to grow by 3 percent in Oregon in the next year and 4,000 new jobs likely to be created, the need for this type of center is expected to grow as well.
According to the U.S. Labor Department, the fastest-growing job categories projected through 2012 include data communication analysts, health information technicians and computer software engineers. The most recent numbers for U.S. employment in IT are the highest ever, up more than 5 percent since the peak in 2000. In addition, IT salaries have continued to rise by a compound growth rate of 4 percent. With such tremendous expansion anticipated, Microsoft is providing students in Oregon with access to the latest technology through the Microsoft Innovation Center.
“We are looking to do our part in the state of Oregon,” Ballmer said. “The Microsoft Innovation Center at PSU reflects our commitment to education and the local community. It will help stimulate future economic growth now and job creation.”
The future is definitely bright. The ribbon-cutting at Portland State followed the release of recent study from the Society for Information Management titled “The Information Technology Workforce: Trends and Implications 2005–2008.” The study finds that now is a great time to be an IT professional, with 80 percent of organizations responding to the study indicating their intention to increase the number of full-time IT staff by 2008. IT is crucial to helping businesses innovate, and it is increasingly important that today’s college students are aware of the tremendous opportunities available for them in this field. Both of the studies and the ribbon-cutting at PSU aim to open student’s eyes to the endless possibilities that a career in IT can offer to them and to the local economy.
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