County lags in tech gold rush

  • KATHY DAY / Herald Writer
  • Tuesday, December 5, 2000 9:00pm
  • Local News

By KATHY DAY

Herald Writer

Snohomish County’s high-technology employees earn an average salary of about $60,000 — less than half what their counterparts average throughout the Puget Sound area, according to a report issued Tuesday.

The Puget Sound area average of $129,300 a year is the nation’s highest.

AeA, the nation’s largest high-tech trade association, joined the Nasdaq Stock Market in releasing a study on average salaries, quality-of-life issues and other economic factors related to the high-tech industry in the country’s top 60 metropolitan areas.

It also explored technology usage and showed that computers were in 64 percent of Seattle-area homes in August 1999, with 51 percent having Internet access. Both numbers exceed the national average

While the study shows that employees at the 2,642 high-tech companies in Snohomish, Pierce and King counties have the biggest compensation, the numbers are likely skewed by Microsoft Corp.’s employee stock options, said Matthew Kazmierczak, AeA’s senior research manager.

"If you look at the details of the data from the rest of the companies, the figures are more in line with the rest of the country," he added.

For purposes of the study, high technology included jobs with ties to electronics, so biomedical companies were included in the tally, said Terry Byington, AeA’s Washington state spokeswoman. Biotechnology was not counted, she added, because it is based on life sciences.

The low and high ends of the spectrum were not reported. The figures exclude company chief executives, chief operating officers, presidents and executive vice presidents, Byington said.

The average $129,300 paid high-tech workers here is more than three times the salary of other private-sector employees in the area.

Seattle area salaries were $44,150 a year more than those in the second-ranked San Jose, Calif., area, which includes Silicon Valley. Oklahoma City had the lowest average wage at $39,624, with the average of all 60 areas at $57,701.

The salary figures are based on the last complete data compiled by the U.S. government in 1998.

Of the companies covered by the study, 186 are in Snohomish County. They employ about 8,000 people. However, Kazmierczak said some companies may not be represented in the county because of the way the Labor Department releases data.

In addition to wages, the study examined issues such as commuting time, housing prices and sunny days, as well as the amount of venture capital, and university research and development expenditures.

In case you’re wondering, Seattle had the fewest sunny days with 136; Phoenix had the most with 295.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Ariel Garcia, 4, was last seen Wednesday morning in an apartment in the 4800 block of Vesper Dr. (Photo provided by Everett Police)
How to donate to the family of Ariel Garcia

Everett police believe the boy’s mother, Janet Garcia, stabbed him repeatedly and left his body in Pierce County.

A ribbon is cut during the Orange Line kick off event at the Lynnwood Transit Center on Saturday, March 30, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
‘A huge year for transit’: Swift Orange Line begins in Lynnwood

Elected officials, community members celebrate Snohomish County’s newest bus rapid transit line.

Bethany Teed, a certified peer counselor with Sunrise Services and experienced hairstylist, cuts the hair of Eli LeFevre during a resource fair at the Carnegie Resource Center on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Carnegie center is a one-stop shop for housing, work, health — and hope

The resource center in downtown Everett connects people to more than 50 social service programs.

Everett mall renderings from Brixton Capital. (Photo provided by the City of Everett)
Topgolf at the Everett Mall? Mayor’s hint still unconfirmed

After Cassie Franklin’s annual address, rumors circled about what “top” entertainment tenant could be landing at Everett Mall.

Foamy brown water, emanating a smell similar to sewage, runs along the property line of Lisa Jansson’s home after spilling off from the DTG Enterprises property on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Snohomish, Washington. Jansson said the water in the small stream had been flowing clean and clear only a few weeks earlier. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Neighbors of Maltby recycling facility assert polluted runoff, noise

For years, the DTG facility has operated without proper permits. Residents feel a heavy burden as “watchdogs” holding the company accountable.

Rosario Resort and Spa on Orcas Island (Photo provided by Empower Investing)
Orcas Island’s storied Rosario Resort finds a local owner

Founded by an Orcas Island resident, Empower Investing plans” dramatic renovations” to restore the historic resort.

A possible development site for Snohomish Garden Townhomes at 9321 Paradise Lake Road on Friday, April 5, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Neighbors’ effort falls short of stopping 196 townhomes near Maltby

Nearby residents said the proposed development would make traffic much worse along Highway 522 — among other concerns.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Stanwood in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Stanwood man gets federal prison for selling fentanyl on dark web

In 2013, Christerfer Frick was sentenced to nine years for trafficking drugs. He began selling online upon his release in 2020.

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

Dan Templeman speaks during a forum lead by The Daily Herald on housing affordability at the Mukilteo Library on Thursday, April 11, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
At Herald forum, experts affirm Housing First model, despite downsides

At the Mukilteo Library, panelists discussed drug-contaminated housing and lengthy cleanup efforts in Snohomish County.

Molbak's Garden + Home in Woodinville, Washington closed on Jan. 28 2024. (Photo courtesy of Molbak's)
Molbak’s, former Woodinville garden store, hopes for a comeback

Molbak’s wants to create a “hub” for retailers and community groups at its former Woodinville store. But first it must raise $2.5 million.

A fire at a home near Alderwood Mall sent one neighbor and one firefighter to the hospital. (Photo provided by South County Fire)
Officials: Residents returned to burning Lynnwood home to rescue dogs

Five people and six dogs were displaced in the Thursday afternoon house fire, according to South County Fire.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.