Broadband To Bring More Jobs To Solano
By Rachel Raskin-Zrihen/Times-Herald, Vallejo
Solano County stands to gain nearly 15,000 jobs and millions in payroll in the next decade as a result of Internet technology, a new study reveals.
The Sacramento Regional Research Institute, which has investigated the relationship between broadband use, job growth and payroll statewide, found 14,853 new jobs and more than $1 million in payroll expected in the Solano County area in the next 10 years directly associated with increased broadband use.
"That works out to about 100 jobs per month, which is a steady increase," said Rick Wells, Vallejo Chamber of Commerce president. "It makes sense. It's probably a trend we're seeing more of with more of our jobs being related to online software and high-tech."
For study purposes, the state was broken down into 24 regions and 39 counties including the Vallejo-Fairfield Area according to an institute statement. Broadband is defined as cable or digital subscriber line, or DSL, the statement said.
The AT&T-commissioned study shows that with a nearly 4 percent annual percentage point increase in adults using broadband, the state could see a net cumulative gain of 1.8 million jobs and $132 billion in payroll over the next decade.
Using statistical models and economic and broadband usage data from 2001 through 2005, the study's authors analyzed 24 major California regions and projected future growth, the statement said. In so doing, the study found that the percentage of Californians using a broadband connection has tripled since 2001, and that between 2002 and 2005, broadband use generated nearly 200,000 jobs and about $12 billion in payroll statewide.
The technology allows people working from home to have access to the same technology as they would at an office, which is especially important in regions where commute times tend to be lengthy, the institute statement notes.
"The Internet can allow any size business anywhere to become global instantly," said Solano Economic Development Corp. president Mike Ammann. He noted the example of the recent expansion of Gymboree's Internet sales warehouse into Dixon.
"It about doubled the size of the warehouse," Ammann said. "This is the kind of thing driving this kind of job."
The study shows the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale area gaining the most in jobs (455,753) and payroll ($33.079 million) in the next decade, and the Clearlake area benefiting the least, with a projected 1,705 jobs and $96 million in payroll.
The Napa area is expected to gain more than 7,000 jobs and more than $506 million in payroll.
American Canyon city manager Richard Ramirez said the findings don't surprise him.
"Obviously, that's an area that's exploding from the economic development and technology standpoint," Ramirez said. "We hope American Canyon will benefit from that growth."
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