Madison gained more technology sector jobs in first year of the pandemic than in the prior half decade, according to a new report published by Washington D.C.-based research think tank Brookings Institution.

While tech employment numbers grew by 3.6% between 2015 and 2019, that number jumped an additional 2.6 percentage points in the next year alone, the report states. Madison had over 15,000 tech workers in 2015. By in 2020, that number was just under 19,000.

The factors influencing that acceleration — locally and nationally — are the rise of remote work during the health crisis that “spawned new hopes for the spread of tech jobs into the heartland,” according to the study, which adds “maybe the long-awaited spread of tech into the rest of the country is happening at last.”

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