Meaningful stats: Chicago’s high-tech, internet industries are doing okay, despite the economy

At the year’s mid-point, research companies take the temperature of various industries’ growth and compare their findings to previous years to see where they are headed.

Overall, the forecasts are as to expected in this slowed-down, election-year economy. Chicago’s high-tech industries fared well and bode well for the future.

Here are some of the meaningful reports.

— In the high-tech area, Chicago has more than held its own, rising to the third position among 60 cities surveyed by AeA, the nation’s largest technology trade association representing all segments of the high-tech industry.

Chicago has the third most high-tech businesses in the U.S., as evidenced by the 11,000 high-tech establishments here.

They are high paying, too, with the average tech worker here earning $81,400 in 2006, or 66% more than the average private sector wage.

Chicago’s high-tech industry added 2,300 net jobs to its economy from 2005 to 2006, for a total of 164,000 in 2006, according to the most current state data available, reports AeA, the nation’s largest technology trade association.

— Chicago’s interactive market remains healthy, but slightly less robust than previous surveys made by brokerage firm Wm. Blair & Co., which provides coverage on 21 marketing, advertising, and media companies, and the Chicago Interactive Marketing Association (CIMA).

While this industry is expected to grow 16.1% over the next 12 months, it is below a consistent survey finding of about 19%, and online prices have risen just 3.2% over the past six months, vs. an average of 7.2 in past surveys.

U.S. emerging media forecasts

Forecasts according to Magna Global, an international media firm:

— Online video will experience the fastest growth within the emerging media category, seeing gains of 45% to $805 million next year. Still, compared to past years, that area is starting to slow, as in 2008; online video is expected to climb 54.2%; in 2007, online video gained 67.4%. –

– Gaming will grow by 27.4% to $296 million, mostly from online use, compared to 35.6 % anticipated growth for 2008 and 51.9 percent in 2007.

— Mobile will grow by 42.6% to $298 million. Still very healthy growth, but this year, Magna is calling for 74.2% gains, and 2007 came in 118.2% higher than the previous year.

— But U.S. ad spending will rise only 2% ($285 billion) in 2008 as compared to the 3.7% gain ($285 billion) predicted in December 2007.