November 3, 2020

Charleston’s Tech Economy Demonstrates Resilience In 2020

Charleston Digital Corridor

In its Annual Wage and Job Growth Survey, the Charleston Digital Corridor is pleased to report that the region's tech economy has demonstrated resilience in earnings and job growth in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The average annual wage for regional tech companies participating in the 2020 survey is $91,183. This number is more than twice the State of South Carolina's average wage of $44,380 and is almost two times the Charleston Region average wage of $47,800 according to the latest (May 2019) data available from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Key findings and insights from the 2020 survey:

  • 57% of companies reported adding jobs in 2020
  • 100% expect to continue hiring into 2021
  • 100% of companies are operating virtually at some level, with 50% reporting that their entire staff is working virtually

In recent years, Charleston's economy has benefitted from the hub-and-spoke model as tech companies realize that a dispersed workforce effectively finds and retains talent. "The pandemic is expected to accelerate this trend as professionals increasingly seek smaller high-amenity metros," said Charleston Digital Corridor Director, Ernest Andrade.

The recent development of new office buildings, like the Charleston Tech Center and 22 WestEdge, supports the robust tech economy via high bandwidth internet and enticing amenities. Further, enhanced building systems, such as ultraviolet (UV) germicidal irradiation for air disinfection, allow teams to operate safely despite the ongoing pandemic.

Vikor Scientific is the model company for employee growth in 2020. As a market leader in providing targeted, molecular diagnostics to improve clinical and economic outcomes, Vikor Scientific has increased its payroll by 325 employees in 2020 alone, a remarkable 425%. The company is also expected to make additional hires by year-end and into 2021.

"Charleston's commitment to investing in business infrastructure to support the tech and life science industry combined with the region's renowned livability is a big factor in our ability to attract talent for our company," said Vikor's co-founder, Scotty Branch.