Killeen-Temple area sees six-figure job increase | Business


In a climate where pandemic precautions have taken an impact on the job market, studies show an exponential increase in six-figure jobs – especially in Bell County.

Studies have shown that Bell County has seen the sixth six-figure wage increase in the past five years, compared to similar-sized metropolitan areas across the country.

In light of recent labor shortages, many employers have resorted to improved pay and benefits to entice scarce labor to fill positions, according to a study by Stessa, a software for rental real estate.

“These trends have led to the fastest wage growth rates since the Great Recession, especially among the lowest wages,” the study said.

But even taking into account improved pay, low-paying occupations have not kept pace with higher-income jobs in recent decades, according to the study.

The inflation-adjusted wage growth from 1979 to 2019 for a worker in the 10 percentile of wages was only 3.3%, according to data from the Economic Policy Institute. The wages of median employees increased 15.1% during this period, while the wages of employees at the 95th percentile rose 63.2% during the same period, the data showed.

“These divergent trends have increased the share of Americans in high-income occupations and created larger gaps between the upper and lower ends of the income spectrum,” the Stessa study says.

Twenty years ago, just 0.7 percent of American workers had jobs that typically earned more than $ 100,000 a year, according to the study. That share climbed to 3.8% in 2015, and over the past five years, the percentage of American workers in six-figure jobs has more than doubled to reach 7.9% in 2020.

The tech field is a major contributor to the growth rate of well-paying jobs nationwide, according to Stessa’s study. According to the study, software developers and computer and computer systems managers both have faster growth rates than most other occupations, currently accounting for over 1.9 million high-paying jobs.

John Crutchfield, president of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce agrees with the analysis of the Stessa study.

“The increase in the number of six-figure jobs is due, in large part, to the demand for employees with IT skills,” said Crutchfield. “These skills are in demand at all levels in all types of industries. They are rare. “

As a result, the compensation of these employees is increasing, he said.

“Many of our employers are constantly on the lookout for these skills,” said Crutchfield. “We hear a lot of frustration expressed by these employers.”

Since a lot of this work is done over the internet, many employees work remotely, he said, making it harder to keep track of the jobs.

“In addition to the IT operational skills that employers need, the challenges of cybersecurity are exploding that demand,” said Crutchfield. “This trend will continue and accelerate.

The demand for employees proficient in information technology, IT related fields and cybersecurity will continue to grow, according to Abdul Subhani, founder, president and CEO of Centex Technologies. Subhani holds certifications in Ethical Hacking, Fraud Review, and Risk and Information Systems Control, among other advanced IT credentials.

“Companies are struggling to find qualified employees in these fields and, as a result, will increase wages, meet the need for flexible working hours and environments, and offer attractive employee benefits,” Subhani said. “In response to the struggle, many companies are outsourcing their IT and cybersecurity work. “

Every business needs both IT support and security, Subhani said.

“We just aren’t producing enough workers to meet demand,” Subhani said. “This is especially difficult when our technologies continue to evolve and change rapidly. “

Crutchfield said the Bell County region is well positioned to take advantage of the demand for technical capacity due to the education system through the Early College High School at Central Texas College, the Cybersecurity Center at Texas A&M University-Central Texas and skilled veterans entering the workforce after military service.

The Killeen-Temple area offers an affordable cost of living as well as an affordable route to higher education in computer-related certificates and study plans, Subhani agreed.

“Texas A&M Central Texas, Central Texas College and Temple College offer a variety of computer-related pathways allowing students to quickly enter the industry while continuing their education to earn more degrees, if they wish, ”Subhani said.

But while fast-growing tech jobs and more specialized fields like law, healthcare or finance often gain attention, the most common six-figure occupation is general and operations managers, the study says. Stessa.

“More than 2.3 million American workers fill this role, which is common in organizations of all types in the public and private sectors, and it has a median annual income of $ 103,650,” the study said.

Geographic regions also tend to have concentrated pockets of well-paying jobs, according to the study.

Six-figure wages are most common in coastal states including California, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York State, where the population tends to have a higher level of education, the cost of life is higher and well-paying industries like technology, business, law and health and life sciences are more prevalent, according to the study. But even many parts of the country where these jobs are less common have seen growth in recent years.

Six-figure jobs more than tripled in Hawaii from 2015 to 2020, and ten other states – mostly in the western mountains and the upper Midwest – have recorded a six-figure job growth rate of more than 100% over the same period, “he added. study found. “Many of these states are proving to be more attractive to employers and professionals looking for space at a lower cost. “

At the local level, low costs can also be a major draw for companies looking to expand or expand, along with access to a strong labor supply or top universities, according to study.

The Killeen-Temple metropolitan area saw a 174.7% increase in six-figure jobs between 2015 and 2020, while the United States saw an average increase of 110%, the sixth-highest growth large cities of similar size to the United States, according to data analysis. .

With a median salary for the area of ​​$ 37,290, six-figure jobs represent 3.5% of total employment in the Killeen area, according to the study.

Nationally, six-figure jobs have grown 110% in the past five years. With a median income of $ 41,950, six-figure jobs represent 7.9% of jobs in the United States, according to the study.

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