What Should the Southern California Tech Industry Expect in 2016?

By Robert Ardell on March 9, 2016 in Information Technology, IT Salary


We know our IT staffing services are only helpful to you if we actually stay on top of the trends that are affecting you. That’s why keep our finger on the pulse of the Southern California tech industry, constantly striving to deepen our IT expertise and broaden our network of key industry players.

With this in mind, here’s what we’re expecting now that 2016 is in full swing.

Job Growth and Unemployment

A recent CareerBuilder report ranked Los Angeles at third in the country for added jobs that exceeded job growth expectations in 2015. Furthermore, unemployment fell to just 5.7% by the end of 2015 in LA County. That data, combined with the fact the entire Southern California region experienced a 50% cut in the unemployment rate since the recession, suggests good news for the future of the region.

Tech employment appears to be a key driver of this job growth, both nationally and locally – the US tech unemployment rate hovers at just 2.6%, as demand continues to rise. Broken down further, the tech scene and local economy in Southern California are being driven primarily by biomedical tech and R&D, aerospace technology, computer and gaming software, and computer science.

It’s worth noting that even while IT job growth is on the rise, the supply of talent tech workers is having a hard time catching up. Companies need to be prepared for more strategic recruiters, branching out to the possibilities of remote workers, relocation packages, and more flexible benefits and competitive compensation packages.

IT Salaries

As job growth and demand increases, so do IT salaries. Our own data here at KORE1, accumulating IT Salary Data for Southern California, shows that IT salaries are up an average of 3.48% over last year. Furthermore, Dice.com reports LA to be a top earning market in the US, at an average of $105,091.

The reason for this inflation in tech salaries appears to be a direct response to the increasingly competitive nature of the IT candidate job market. Certain technologies are becoming harder and harder to recruit for, causing companies to offer more attractive compensations to recruit candidates from far and wide. Even in technologies that are more common, the gap between supply and demand is prevalent enough to spike salaries higher than many other occupations. The same is true for average bonuses, whether it’s sign on bonuses, annual performance bonuses, or other monetary incentives.

Southern California Tech Industry Trends

While much of California’s attention has been on the Bay Area in recent years, this has left the Southern California region to thrive and surprise, with many game-changing organizations dominating the tech scene. It’s an area ripe for tech startup success, but also provides a strong foundation for well-established organizations.

In particular, experts predict that 2016 will see rising trends in virtual reality technology and real estate technology. These are the hottest technologies in the Southern California region, but national trends are also thriving in the area. These include Cloud Computing, DevOps, Big Data, Internet of Things, Security 2.0, Machine Learning, User Experience and IT Architecture. These growth areas are consequences of evolving consumer technology, increasingly complex supply chains, and global digitalization in the business landscape.

For hiring managers, these trends translate directly into increased IT hiring initiatives. The BLS predicts continued demand for web developers, computer systems analysts, information security analysts, software developers, and computer support specialists.

What This Means for You

In this shifting tech landscape, it’s impossible to maintain status quo if you want to be sure of future success and growth. Companies that take the initiative and aim to keep up with the rapidly evolving IT trends within their own unique industry are the ones that will stay on the cutting edge ahead of their competition.

To learn more about how IT Salaries are growing in the Southern California tech industry, download our eBook, the “2016 IT Salary Guide”.  You’ll get the most up-to-date salary data plus some projections for the near future.