Wall Street Journal, January 24
Average annual salaries for Silicon Valley technology workers surpassed the $100,000 mark last year for the first time ever, pushed higher by the strength of the region's latest boom. According to IT jobs site Dice.com, salaries for software and other engineering professionals in Silicon Valley rose 5.2% to an average $104,195 last year, outstripping the average 2% increase, to $81,327, in tech-workers' salaries nationwide. It was the first time since Dice began the salary survey in 2001 that the region's average salary mark broke the $100,000 barrier.
The steady march upward in Silicon Valley tech salaries comes amid a Web boom that has fueled companies such as Facebook, Zynga and Twitter. Last year, several of the best-known Internet went public, with a Facebook IPO on deck for 2012. This success has sparked the creation of numerous new startups, which in turn has spurred a hiring war for software engineers and others. In contrast, job growth elsewhere in the nation has remained relatively slow. U.S. employers added 200,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate ticked down to 8.5%, its lowest level since early 2009.
There is now a bidding war for talent in Silicon Valley. Overall, tech-related job postings in Silicon Valley on Dice rose to 5,026 earlier this month, up 26% from 3,974 a year ago, even as tech-jobs postings nationwide only rose 11% over the same period. With many job candidates receiving multiple offers, the limiting factor is the ability to find the right people. Silicon Valley's job market strength has also had a halo effect on bonuses. Silicon Valley tech-worker bonuses jumped 13% last year to an average $12,450, versus an 8% increase to $8,769 nationwide, according to Dice. Meanwhile, hourly contractor rates in Silicon Valley rose 11% last year to an average $74 an hour, compared with $63 an hour nationally.
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