Wages are rising faster for tech and IT workers than any other job category, according to a new report from PayScale. And cities with a strong tech backbone are outpacing the rest of the country in wage growth.
"IT jobs" is a broad category encompassing software developers and help
desk specialists, but PayScale said high-skill workers were driving wage growth (which is measured in nominal -- non-inflation-adjusted -- figures). In addition to Houston, which has been the overall victor of the recovery going back to 2008 thanks to its shallow fall in the Great Recession and strong energy-bolstered recovery, tech-strong cities like Seattle and San Francisco have seen especially strong years in wage growth.
These rising wages for tech geeks comes from a push and pull, said Katie Bardaro, lead economist at PayScale.
The growing Internet economy is the obvious pull. The Internet has supposedly been a drag on growth for the last year, according to official U.S. government figures. But "this is simply absurd," says Michael Mandel, an Atlantic contributor and economist with the Progressive Policy Institute, who recently published a paper on how we dramatically underestimate the size of the data-driven economy. According to his analysis, "real GDP rose at a 2.3% rate in the first half of 2012, rather than the 1.7% official rate." The enormous surge of usage of services like Gmail, Dropbox, Facebook, and Twitter has increased the need for developers, designers, and other software workers.