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Most tech employees would leave state for better job, survey shows

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By Nancy Dahlberg / ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

Nearly 60 percent of tech employees would consider moving out of state because of a limited job market, an annual survey of more than 1,300 tech professionals in South Florida revealed.

At the same time, about half of the 138 tech managers that responded to the survey cite turnover as a chief concern and about 45 percent of them plan to invest more in employee training and retention programs.

The 2017 South Florida Tech Leadership and Workforce surveys released by South Florida IT search and staffing firm Protech revealed additional insights. The primary reasons cited by employers for losing staff are compensation (50 percent; down from 73 percent) followed by “lack of career path” (50 percent). Yet, 91 percent of tech employees said they would leave their current employer for a better opportunity, with compensation cited as the top reason by 45 percent, followed by “lack of career path” and “work-life balance.”

In a separate question asking what would be considered to be a top perk, about half of the employee respondents cited “flextime/telecommuting,” while about 10 percent cited additional vacation and 10 percent cited bonuses.

There was a significant jump in employees willing to consider a move out of Florida (57 percent versus 43 percent last year). Among the reasons: “limited job market/lack of career advancement” with a 51 percent response, followed by 24 percent citing “cost of living too high,” compared to 19 percent last year.

“Although salaries continue to increase, the rising costs of real estate directly influence the number of people considering an out-of-state move. Over the years, we’ve seen this number rise and fall in parallel with real estate market swings,” said Protech CEO Deborah Vazquez.

About two-thirds of hiring managers expect to grow their staffs this year, the surveys found. Another finding: The average pay increase reported by employees for 2016 was 4 percent, unchanged from 2015.

The Tech Leadership survey showed a continued shift from direct hire to contract employees with IT leaders reporting 28 percent of their workforce being contract employees, compared to 23 percent last year.

Follow @ndahlberg on Twitter.

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