Silicon Valley’s Average Wage Goes through the Roof
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The Fiscal Times
August 22, 2014

High-tech employees in Silicon Valley remain the highest paid in this industry – while those in San Francisco are seeing the strongest wage growth in the nation, as firms compete for the best talents there.

In 2013, the average annual wage for high-tech workers in Silicon Valley was $195,815, according to a recent report from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), a commercial real estate firm. The average wage includes salary, benefits, free meals and stock options.

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Meanwhile, San Francisco had the highest wage growth in 2013. The average salary grew 18.9 percent to an average annual wage of $156,518.

The second highest increase in high-tech wages occurred in New York City, where the average annual wage grew 11.3 percent, to $125,555 in 2013.

This development is in marked contrast to the stagnant wages that workers in most industries across the country have been experiencing.

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“Strong wage growth is an indication of tight labor supply, and the rapid increase in average wages points to the competitive marketplace many high-tech firms are facing,” JLL noted. “Even in markets where high-tech wages are comparably lower, wages are still rising quickly.”

South Florida saw a 6.4 percent wage increase in 2013, but the average wage there is the lowest among high-tech markets tracked by JLL at $67,687.

The growth of high-tech employment in recent years is unprecedented, according to JLL, and there are now more high-tech jobs in the U.S. than during the last dot.com boom.

At 2.7 million jobs, the high-tech services sector has surpassed the previous peak of 2.2 million jobs reached in March 2001.

Total high-tech employment, which also includes manufacturing positions, reached 3.2 million jobs in May, surpassing the dot.com peak in February 2001 by 47,000 jobs.

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“High-tech services sector growth has occurred more rapidly in the current cycle when compared with the dot.com boom period because of the shift toward application, mobile, software and search-related services firms,” JLL noted in its report. In the dot.com boom of 1999 to 2001, the focus was more on network and development, as well as the onshore manufacturing of these products.

High-tech services jobs grew 4 percent year-over-year as of May, accounting for 19 percent of all office jobs added since 2009.

“High-tech employment is increasing in many markets, in many cases outpacing employment growth by double or more,” according to the report.

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Marine Cole has been covering finance and business for a decade and has written for publications that include The Wall Street Journal, Crain's New York Business, and AdvertisingAge.