Job Availability, Tech Pro Pay Skewed in Some Metro Areas: Study

Where you live is often as important as what you earn or what you do. Of course, specific job opportunities also matter, but a new study shows it’s not always possible to go where the jobs are and still see the best pay.

The Dice Salary Survey highlights metro areas that pay best. The top metros may not surprise you; Silicon Valley is first by a comfortable margin, with other major metro areas such as Boston, New York and Washington D.C. falling in line. Further down the list we see established hubs such as Seattle, as well as up-and-comers such as Detroit.

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Meanwhile, a study from Abodo examines Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on job density and availability. Specifically, it probes five major job categories:

  • Computer & Mathematical Occupations
  • Community & Social Services
  • Business & Financial Operations
  • Construction & Extraction
  • Health Care (Practitioner & Technicians)

In the chart below, we’re focusing just on tech jobs in assigning a salary/job availability ranking to the top metro areas. We’ve inverted the Salary Survey’s ranking system to better reflect chart positioning, as well (for example, Silicon Valley is ‘number one’ in the Dice Salary Survey, but it’s a ‘ten’ on this chart).

The top two metro areas on the Dice Salary Survey, Silicon Valley and Boston, have a good supply-and-demand ratio when it comes to pay and job availability. Philadelphia is very strong in this regard, as well.

New York and Los Angeles are fairly skewed. When we look at the chart above, we see that, while pay in those major metro areas is good, job availability isn’t. They are the two worst offenders in terms of that imbalance, with San Diego not far behind.

Other metro areas seem to be having trouble attracting talent. Dallas, Minneapolis, Seattle and Washington D.C. all have plenty of jobs available, yet they also rank lower on salary scale. Perhaps tech pros would rather get paid more than have an abundance of job opportunities at any given moment.

Data supports that theory: Of the 42 percent of Salary Survey respondents who say they anticipate changing jobs, some 63 percent of them indicate it will likely be for better pay. Until areas such as Dallas are competitive with Boston and Silicon Valley on the salary front, it’ll be that much harder for those “rising tech hubs” to attract talent.