Category Archives: crain’s chicago

How Crain’s Chicago Got Tech Worker Pay Wrong


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In “Chicago trails other cities in tech salaries and jobs“, the reader is presented with a very misleading article about tech worker pay. Between John Pletz, the woman doing the video interview and the people at Dice, I am not sure how they got this so wrong. Tech workers may look like a bargain but shhh…let’s hope the boss isn’t good at math.

Pletz says:

“Tech talent is in high demand in Chicago these days, and pay is going up. Unfortunately it still lags what techies make in many other big cities…”

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As the resident tech writer for Crain’s Chicago, Pletz should be aware that he may be chasing tech workers away to Silicon Valley. The table shown, ranks Chicago lowest across what looks like average salaries for tech jobs by city. It looks like Silicon Valley workers are actually better off…with what looks like 19% better pay!
Having lived in there for a few years, that didn’t pass the smell test… 
 

 
While it is true those tech workers do make more money, the fact is that when you adjust for cost-of-living, the Chicago tech worker is actually better paid by about 11%. Here is one source of such information: http://www.infoplease.com/business/economy/cost-living-index-us-cities.html ; here is how tech worker pay really stacks up:


 
Using normalized real dollars, looks like Dallas and Atlanta are the best with Silicon Valley and New York at the bottom. Of course these salaries are averages as are the indexes for cost-of-living – your mileage may vary.
 

Perhaps they were factoring humidity and wind chill?
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