Friday, March 5, 2021

Tech salaries rose in 2020 — despite COVID-19

U.S. dollar sign consisting of abstract digits.

Although the US tech and IT sectors saw major layoffs in mid-2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sectors have recovered most of the lost jobs. Even better, salaries actually rose by 3.6% in 2020, according to’s 2021 Tech Salary Report — and will continue to do so in 2021.

But the salary growth accrued to just 52% of tech employees surveyed; 35% saw flat wages, and the rest (13%) saw declines. Those who saw declines cited a change of employer, layoffs, or company-wide salary reductions as the main causes — all of them effects of the pandemic.

Regional salary trends

Salaries both in California’s Silicon Valley and in Boston rose 2.4%, in line with the national average. But they exploded in several tech hubs:

  • Charlotte, N.C., saw a 13.8% rise in salary to $99,691.
  • Orlando saw a 13.4% rise to $88,598.
  • New York City saw a 11.6% rise to $114,274.
  • Austin, Texas, saw a 9.7% rise to $104,344.
  • Philadelphia saw a 9.3% rise to $96,512.

Detroit, Phoenix, Houston, Minneapolis, and metro Baltimore-Washington all saw salary rises of more than 5%.

Portland, Oregon, saw a 4.6% drop in salaries to $98,026, while Seattle saw a 2.6% decline in salaries to $106,723. Tampa saw a 11% decline to $87,809, Columbus, OH, a 0.6% decline to $91,483, and Chicago, a 0.1% decline to $94,581.

Dice notes that the survey sample in Columbus was fewer than 100 respondents, so the data is not statistically valid but included for continuity with past years’ reports.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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