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UK technology salaries lag well behind major US cities, research finds

The salaries for tech workers in London fell well below the figures for major US cities in 2017

London tech workers are earning significantly less than their counterparts in major US cities, according to research from job site Hired.

The company analysed the job hunting process for 69,000 candidates across 13 cities in the US, Canada, France and the UK to find the disparity between salaries. It identifies tech workers as those working with data analytics, as product managers, software engineers and designers.

In London, the average salary for these workers last year was $78,000 (£58,000), compared with $135,000 across the four countries.

The average figure was $142,000 in San Francisco and $129,000 in both Los Angeles and New York. Even with the inclusion of San Francisco’s cost of living, workers in those states earned up to 42% more than in London.

The UK capital was the second lowest out of the 13 cities, with only workers in Paris earning less at $56,000, and London salaries have declined by 17% since 2015. Hired’s UK chief Gordon Smith said a further concern was a 7% reduction in London firms employing candidates from outside of the UK in 2017.

“It is likely due to uncertainty around the impact on immigration following the decision to leave the EU, and companies appear to be playing it safe until things become clearer. There is still a lot of work to be done if the UK wants to retain its status as a global tech leader, particularly in light of Brexit,” he said.

“Employers and politicians alike must work together to make Britain a more attractive place to work. This starts with transparency across the board, ensuring candidates know and achieve their worth throughout all stages of their career.”

Read more about tech salaries

Hired found there was a minor increase of 1.2% in salaries compared to 2016 – a similar figure to research by another job site, Reed Technology, which recorded a 1.5% increase for London across 2017, with the highest UK increase being in the West Midlands at 3.4%.

The figure from Hired is also comparable to the Computer Weekly annual salary survey where the average salary for technology professionals ranged from £50,000 to £75,000, depending on region, job role and previous experience.

Smith said that despite some of the statistics compared to the US, the tech sector in the UK is still “booming” and IT workers contribute double the amount to the economy as non-digital workers.

The report also found that in comparison to local tech workers, candidates from outside the UK received a bonus of over £12,000 when they relocated to London.

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