Amid widespread year-on-year increases across the US, three regions in particular saw notable spikes in median salary compared with last year.
The Northeast region saw a 12.9% hike (from $91,000 to $102,700); The Central region increased 21.2% (from $78,000 to $94,500); and the Plain States rose 9.8% (from $76,500 to $84,000).
Industry leaders from each region shared their explanations for these boosts:
Russell Wilkerson, MD of comms and public affairs, GE (based in New York):
With a stable economy supported by some growing sectors in the Northeast, communications talent is in demand in the region. Anchored by the larger companies in New York and Boston, and complemented by healthy startups, the region is a competitive market for top talent and those with digital and social media experience, which can draw higher salaries. The combination of the stable economy and healthy demand are contributing to the median salary increase.
Renzi Stone, CEO, Saxum (based in Oklahoma City):
There is a talent war for knowledge workers in middle America where unemployment remains low and the economy is strong. In Texas and Oklahoma, specifically, hiring in the energy sector (which lags commodity pricing) has been especially robust. Agencies have had to match. I expect this trend to normalize in 2015 and 2016.
Doug Spong, founder and president, Spong (based in Minneapolis):
The leap in median salaries among the Plain States is attributed to two factors. First, the region enjoys the lowest unemployment of any in the US. A healthy economy dials up demand for a smaller supply of talent. Second, our profession taps highly specialized talent from advertising, digital, social, and other related fields. Specialists command higher salaries than generalists.