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Business Observer Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010 11 years ago

Gulf Coast jobs pay less

A Gulf Coast accountant might earn 20% less than a Miami-based colleague.

Business specialists in Fort Myers may be making 80 cents on the dollar compared to their professional counterparts on the other end of Alligator Alley, suggests one California-based research firm.

The 2011 Salary Guide recently published by Robert Half International offers job-specific salary information based on nationwide trends, providing range estimates for positions such as chief financial officer. The goal is to provide hiring managers with a starting point for negotiations in the midst of an incredibly competitive hiring environment.

But what Gulf Coast residents may find more interesting than those range estimates are the market adjustment indices the report provides.

Researchers used data from the U.S. Department of Labor to produce an adjustment index for many of the nation's unique geographic markets. Each index can be used to create a more regionally sensitive estimate; for example, the report's adjustment index for Phoenix of 105 suggests salaried employees there can expect to earn 5% more than the national average.

The two numbers provided for Gulf Coast markets are both below average. According to the report, Fort Myers employees earn 87.6% of the national average, while Tampa and St. Petersburg workers bring in 94%. Compare that to Miami/Fort Lauderdale market, which pays its employees 110% of the national average.

Jacksonville employees earn 94.5% of the national average for a given occupation, the report estimates, while Orlando workers earn 101%.

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