PROTECH Surveys reveal demand for IT workers and salary increases steadying while a record number of IT execs show concerns about losing staff.

PROTECH Releases its 17th Annual South Florida Tech Leadership Survey and 15th Annual Tech Talent Workforce Survey Results which reveals stabilization of salaries and hiring plans. Still 91% of Tech workers report willingness to change employers with compensation remaining as key motivator.

March 11, 2019– Fort Lauderdale, FL. Two surveys conducted by leading South Florida technology recruiting and staffing firm, PROTECH, reveal insight into South Florida IT leadership and workforce trends.

Employment trends and Hiring Outlook

While hiring plans and economic outlook remain strong, 45% of IT leaders (down from 69% in 2018) reported planning to increase staff in 2019.  And for the first time in three years, 4% of IT leadership reported plans to decrease staff (from zero percent in the previous two years).

78% of IT leaders are concerned about losing talented IT staff this year which is the highest number ever reported on the 17-year survey.  This is up from 54% last year.  The top reason remains compensation at 58% (up from 34% in 2018).  Other reasons cited are work-life balance/long work hours, company culture/work environment and lack of career path all coming in tied at 14%.

Workers reported salary increases for 2018 averaging just 1% compared to a range of 4%-6% in the previous six years.

“Salary increases have been robust for many years especially for career disciplines where the labor market is very tight.  This year we saw a marked slowdown in this area,” said Deborah Vazquez, CEO of PROTECH.

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Average budgets held steady for the third year at a 15% increase from last year with 44% reporting their budget is adequate compared to actual need.  This is down from 67% in 2018.

Employees stated the top reasons for leaving their current employment as compensation (47% – up from 40% in 2018), work-life balance/long work hours and corporate culture/work environment (12%), and lack of career path coming in third at 10%. Key motivators for considering a new job were compensation, followed by strong leadership and for the first time in the top three, we saw a quality health plan at 10%.  Best perk offered by an employer remained flextime/telecommuting at 39% followed by additional vacation/open PTO at 16%.

“Both employers and workers are aligned stating compensation is the top reason for a job change.”

On the health of the job market in South Florida, 24% of workers reported seeing better conditions than the previous year (at 22%), however 32% reported weaker conditions up from 27% in 2018.  44% see the job market “about the same” as last year, this was down from 51% last year.

“This year’s survey results seem to convey some mild softening occurring in the job market based on hiring plans, salary trends and perceptions of the economy and job market amongst both IT leaders and workers.  But this is normal in any business cycle as the market has been very heated on all fronts for several years.”

“In our day to day work, we have not witnessed any slowing of demand from our clients.  There is continued healthy demand especially for business analysts, software engineers, developers and quality assurance professionals.  We also see strong demand from our software and professional services clients for specialized technical sales and leadership professionals,” noted Vazquez.

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Tech employees seriously considering moving out of Florida is up with a 56% response versus 49% in 2018. The top three reasons continue to be: limited job market/lack of career advancement (49%), cost of living too high (23%), followed by compensation (19%).

“Retention of technology workers has historically been a pain point in the South Florida market due to the area being composed mostly of small and medium-sized businesses.  There are relatively few large employers with structured internship opportunities who are actively recruiting from our universities. Our government could do a more creative job of putting in place better incentives to attract new larger employers into the area,” said Vazquez.

The top three recommendations from IT Leadership to government to increase the  success of IT in South Florida included: 1) Create tax incentive plans to attract new high-tech companies to the state; 2) Create incentives for existing companies to expand adding locations to other parts of the tri-county area thereby reducing commuting; 3) Promote partnering opportunities between tech companies and local universities with incentives for graduates to stay in the local area.

For other Key Findings: 

2019 South Florida Technology Leadership Survey

2019 South Florida Tech Talent Survey

PROTECH surveyed over 1200 IT Director to CIO level executives for its 17th annual Tech Leadership Survey; and over 26,000 IT professionals for its 15th annual Tech Talent survey. All participants are in the South Florida tri-county area.


PROTECH is a firm specialized in technology recruitment and staffing solutions for top domestic and global employers for over 20 years. Their seasoned team of IT recruiters have worked in the IT industry with high-growth start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. PROTECH’s clients have access to an extensive network of professionals and resources in the IT industry. For more information about PROTECH, please visit

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Media Contact:

Deborah Vazquez

561-953-8800 ext. 223



PROTECH Surveys reveal demand for IT workers and salary increases steadying while a record number of IT execs show concerns about losing staff.