Charleston’s high-tech future (copy) (copy)

A wall in the Charleston Digital Corridor's Flagship 2 show some of the businesses that have passed through the incubator near Calhoun and East Bay streets on the peninsula. The group, which is relocating to a space on Meeting Street in December, released the results of its  annual wage and jobs survey last week. File/Wade Spees/Staff

A new report shows that the salaries within the region's technology sector continues to grow, in part to keep up with the cost of living and in part to recruit and retain skilled help in a tight labor market.

The annual survey from the Charleston Digital Corridor reports an average wage of $91,105, up from $85,771 last year. That would be twice the average for South Carolina, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The corridor has been collecting local pay data since 2004.

The region's economy has transitioned to include more STEM-focused jobs, according to a report from the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. That group's recent talent demand study found 200 to 300 jobs in software and information technology will go unfilled. 

At 22 percent, the chamber predicted software and IT will be the biggest high-tech growth pockets between 2017 and 2022. Those industries now account for 12,000 jobs.

Another survey from Indeed named the Charlotte area the tech hub that pays its employees best, when cost of living is accounted for. Indeed did not name Charleston in its top 25 tech hubs in the United States. But this year's average salary reported by the Charleston Digital Corridor would rival those at other Southern tech hubs. 

Nearly all of the companies surveyed by the corridor, a nonprofit economic development group, indicated they have added jobs in the last year and will continue to do so. 

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Among them is Athens, Ga.-based Seller Labs, which helps small businesses sell their goods on Amazon. It recently opened an office in one of the corridor's Flagship properties in downtown Charleston. 

Katie Reilly, vice president of product for Seller, said the company is looking for designers and engineers primarily. About 40 percent of the staff works remotely.

Reilly, a Charleston native, said she advocated for an office in her hometown. She said she likes the environment of the local tech community, and appreciates there is room for the company to grow.

"Our goal is to start to bring more people together in co-located offices," she said. "Those jobs will continue to be posted."

Reach Mary Katherine Wildeman at 843-937-5594. Follow her on Twitter @mkwildeman.