Seattle needs tech workers.
That’s the conclusion reached by King 5, NBC’s Seattle affiliate, which paints a picture of six-figure starting salaries for software engineers, startups fighting over the most proficient tech pros, and job offers sprinkling from the sky like rain.
But is that report accurate?
Seattle’s insatiable demand for tech workers is nothing new. In January, startups and well-established tech companies alike reported a desperate need for thousands of tech pros. TechAmerica’s “Cyberstates” 2013 report suggested IT workers in Washington earned an average wage of $110,200, which was 125 percent higher than the state’s average private-sector wage. The 2013 Dice Salary Survey placed the average salary for Seattle-based IT pros at $95,048, a bit lower but still notable.
Not every company in Seattle is having its best moment, however. Microsoft laid off more than 18,000 employees worldwide this year, with 747 of those cuts taking place in the Seattle area. “As the company likes to say in better times, each of its employees generates up to 7 additional jobs in the regional economy,” is how columnist Brier Dudley framed those layoffs in The Seattle Times. “Whether you believe that or not, losing 747 jobs is the equivalent of a midsize software company—like Zillow—abruptly shutting down.”
Fortunately, Microsoft isn’t the only major tech firm in Seattle: Amazon remains a significant regional employer, and Google maintains a not-insignificant presence. And as long as startups and midsize firms continue to call the city home, it seems unlikely that the need for tech pros of all skill sets—especially cloud-related ones—will fade anytime soon.
- Cloud Efforts Drive Hiring in Seattle
- What It’s Like to Work at Microsoft, Facebook AND Google
- Nadella Popular at Microsoft, Layoffs or Not