Future Proofed Jobs: How Arizona Compared in 2016

Jennifer Pullen

Arizona ranked 23rd in its ability to create high-paying and future-proofed jobs in 2016, down four places from 2014. Arizona remained among the second tier of states according to the Milken Institute’s State Technology and Science Index. The index provides an assessment of each state’s technology and science capabilities and how that influences regional economic growth. A key finding from the report indicates that the high-tech sector has expanded into geographic regions beyond its traditional center. Additionally, the 2016 index has expanded its definition of the technology and science workforce to include more occupations that require associate degrees and vocational training. To view each state's ranking scroll over the map below and don't forget to note the indicator arrow on the legend.

The Milken State Technology and Science index is composed of five equally weighted composites, which include 107 individual indicators such as population, gross state product, and number of establishments. These indicators are combined to create the five composites: Research and Development Inputs, Risk Capital and Entrepreneurial Infrastructure, Human Capital Investment, Technology and Science Workforce, and Technology Concentration and Dynamism.

Among the five composite indices that make up the State Technology and Science Index, Arizona ranked in the second tier of states in three of the five. Arizona placed 11th in the Research and Development Index an increase of six places from 2014. Arizona’s substantial increase was due to emerging-technology and science hubs in the state. The other second tier rankings included 18th in the Risk Capital and Entrepreneurial Infrastructure Index and 20th in the Technology Concentration and Dynamism Composite Index. Arizona placed in the third tier in the Technology and Science Workforce Composite Index with a ranking of 27th, this was a substantial decrease from the 14th place ranking Arizona earned in 2014. In the Human Capital and Investment Composite Index Arizona fell 12 places from its 2014 ranking of 29th to 41st in 2016.

Arizona’s State Technology and Science score of 54.9 ranked it eighth among the 10 western states explored on the MAP Dashboard. Colorado had the highest score of 80.4 while Nevada posted the lowest score at 32.8. Scores are assigned for each of the 107 indicators with the top state being assigned a score of 100, the runner-up a score of 98, and the 50th state a score of 2. The indicators are then combined to create each of the composite rankings and the overall State Technology and Science score.

To learn more about the State Technology and Science Index you can find the report here: 2016 The State Technology and Science Index – Sustaining America’s Innovation Economy. The report was published by the Milken Institute. The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan economic think tank. They work to improve lives around the world by advancing innovative economic and policy solutions that create jobs, widen access to capital, and enhance health (www.milkeninstitute.org).

The Milken Institute report on Sustaining America’s Innovation Economy includes information at only the state level to view related indicators for Tucson visit Patents and College Major.