SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, labor shortages have remained a topic of conversation, even in Utah. To respond, many employers have tried to entice workers by raising wages, improving benefits, and even offering free iPhones. Meanwhile, many are working to bring high-paying jobs to their communities, including Utah – and it’s showing.
A new report from Stessa, a service focused on helping investors make decisions about their property portfolio, found high-paying tech jobs like software developers and computer and information systems managers comprise more than 1.9 million high-paying jobs. As of 2020, nearly 8% of Americans are working in six-figure jobs – more than double the 3.8% in 2016 and 11 times greater than 0.7% in 2000.
Among the most popular six-figure professions are general and operations managers, software developers, and lawyers, Stessa reports based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Most of those high-paying jobs are found in coastal states like California, New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland. But from 2015 to 2020, six-figure jobs grew by more than 100% in many Mountain West and upper Midwest states.
Stessa shares the below graphic:
Many of the small and midsize metros seeing the most growth in high-paying jobs are scattered throughout the Mountain West and Midwest, like Reno, Nevada; Madison, Wisconsin, Grand Forks, North Dakota, and Wenatchee, Washington.
Among small metros, Stessa reports St. George, Utah, has seen the second-largest growth in high-paying jobs. Reporting a 461.9% increase in six-figure jobs from 2015 to 2020, St. George fell just short of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which saw a 520% increase over the same timespan. Logan came in at 126th, seeing a 48.7% growth in high-paying jobs.
Within midsize metros, the Ogden-Clearfield area came in 23rd, reporting a 114.4% increase in six-figure jobs from 2015-2020. Provo-Orem came in 30th, seeing nearly a 96% increase in high-paying jobs.
When comparing large metros with the most growth in high-paying jobs, Salt Lake City landed in the 11th spot, seeing a 122.3% increase in six-figure jobs from 2015-2020. In total, Stessa reports Salt Lake City has a 6.2% total employment in six-figure jobs. Not making six figures in Salt Lake City? You aren’t alone – the median annual wage across all occupations in Salt Lake City for 2020 was $42,280.
If you live in one of these communities and are struggling to pay bills, even though you have a steady income, you may be getting priced out by the high cost of living in your area. An updated tool from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows whether your income is enough to live comfortably in your area.