New York tech workers stung by expensive housing market

Salaries are up, but dollars are stretched thin: report
February 08, 2018 10:00AM

Seattle, Los Angeles and New York City skylines (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

New York City tech workers are making more money than they did last year, but they’re still being stretched thin by a sky-high housing market.

In a new report by Hired, a tech-employment marketplace, local tech workers get the least bang for their buck compared to counterparts in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Austin.

“New York salaries have gone up,” Mehul Patel, CEO of Hired, told Crain’s. “But New York is not keeping up… considering the cost of living.”

Last year, New York tech workers’ salaries rose around 6 percent to an average of $129,000. (Only workers in L.A. and Seattle made more, with an average of $142,000 and $132,000, respectively.)

But once the cost of living was accounted for, New York workers were at the lowest end of the cost-of-living scale. The New York lifestyle is worth $136,000 in San Francisco dollars, Wired found. In Austin, the $118,000 salary can pay for a $202,000 lifestyle in San Francisco.

Hired’s “2018 State of Salaries” report also found that black tech workers have the lowest average salary compared to white, Hispanic and Asian counterparts. According to Patel, black workers historically set their preferred salary on the low end, at $124,000 compared to whites’ $130,000.

Black tech workers ended up with offers of $130,000 and white tech workers got $136,000. Patel said the lesson there is universal: Everybody gets more than they ask for. “You can and should,” he said, “ask for more.”

The steep cost of the housing market hasn’t deterred some of the biggest tech giants from increasing their footprints in Manhattan by hundreds of thousands of square feet (or more). Facebook, Amazon and Spotify in the last two years have all expanded significantly, while Google recently went into contract for the Chelsea Market Building. [Crain’s] — E.B. Solomont