Scott Wetzel Wetzel: “The highly skilled and educated workforce is a major driver that attracts mature and startup companies, along with strong cost savings of real estate and company expenses compared to other West Coast markets.”

IRVINE, CA—Access to skilled labor is a fundamental need for scaling tech companies, so with Orange County’s 3.3% unemployment rate, you could say the increase in STEM graduates is filling a much-needed gap, JLL VP Scott Wetzel tells GlobeSt.com. According to a recent report from the firm, 862,800 people 25 or older in the Orange County workforce hold a bachelor’s degree or higher as of 2016; in 2011, that number was 736,347.

The report also showed that 211,704 people 25 or older in the Orange County workforce have degrees in a STEM-related field; five years ago, that number was 185,847. In addition, the average wage for computer and math occupations in Orange County has risen from $84,540 in 2011 to $94,780, and the average wage for all occupations in OC has risen from $50,960 in 2011 to $55,890. Meanwhile, the average wage for computer and math occupations in the US has risen from $78,730 in 2011 to $87,880, and the average wage for all occupations in the US has risen from $45,230 in 2011 to $49,630.

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Carrie Rossenfeld

Carrie Rossenfeld is a reporter for the San Diego and Orange County markets on GlobeSt.com and a contributor to Real Estate Forum. She was a trade-magazine and newsletter editor in New York City before moving to Southern California to become a freelance writer and editor for magazines, books and websites. Rossenfeld has written extensively on topics including commercial real estate, running a medical practice, intellectual-property licensing and giftware. She has edited books about profiting from real estate and has ghostwritten a book about starting a home-based business.

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