Emails (excerpted), Brian Kelsey, principal, Civic Analytics, May 14 and 15, 2013

From: Brian Kelsey

Sent: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 3:46 PM

To: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)

Subject: Austin Technology Council Report


The Austin Technology Council relayed a message to me saying that you had some questions about the methodology used for the economic impact study. I did the study for them and would be glad to answer your questions or send you a short description of how I came up with the numbers.



Brian Kelsey

Civic Analytics LLC

On Tue, May 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM, Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) <> wrote:

A description would be great for starters, thank you.

I am checking this statement by President Obama: “According to one report, the tech sector now drives more than one-quarter of Austin’s economy.”

Anything that led you to that conclusion, if this is an accurate reflection of your findings, would be helpful.


4:41 pm

May 14, 2013

I don't know if that's a reference to the ATC report, but it appears to be a true statement if you are talking about jobs, at least according to my research.

The first question is how to define the "tech sector." We used TechAmerica Foundation's definition from their annual "Cyberstates" publication. It includes 52 industries (see attached). We added one more industry, NAICS 423430 Computer and Computer Peripheral Equipment and Software Merchant Wholesalers, which captures a significant portion of business activity at some of Austin's larger companies such as Dell, IBM, etc. So our definition of tech included 53 industries total.

Those 53 industries contribute an estimated $20.9 billion to Austin's total Gross Regional Product of approximately $97.4 billion, or roughly 21 percent, a bit under "one-quarter." Austin here refers to the five-county metropolitan area.

Total employment (full-time, part-time, and self-employment) in Austin's tech sector was 105,667 jobs in 2012, or roughly 9 percent of all jobs in Austin. That's direct jobs--i.e. people employed in the 53 industries. If you look at the direct employment and the spinoff activity it creates in other industries (the multiplier effect), the tech sector supports an estimated one-third of total employment in Austin--so a bit more than "one-quarter."

Most of the data in the report, including the multiplier of 3.5 we used, comes from EMSI (

5:38 pm

May 14, 2013

...on your question about government's share of total output, it's about 12% ($12.1 billion). Education is a bit more difficult to pull out since there's a good deal of overlap with government according to how the feds classify the data.

On Wed, May 15, 2013 at 12:39 PM, Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) wrote:

OK, thanks.

It would be accurate to compare this 12 percent to the 21 percent figure for tech and GRP?

What share of the region’s jobs are public sector, in comparison to the respective 9 percent and one third figures you reached?

2:11 pm

May 15, 2013

Austin MSA total employment: 1,142,396

Government: 180,892

Government Share: 15.8%