State Snapshot: Massachusetts

SAN MATEO (07/31/2000) - IT professionals are in high demand in the Bay State.

Salaries are above the national average, especially in the greater Boston area.

Vital statistics

Population:

State - 6,175,169 (Ranks 13th in nation)Boston area - 5,633,060Unemployment rate:

State - 2.3 percent

National - 4.0 percent

Boston - 2.0 percent

Median housing cost:

National - US$133,400

Boston - $317,600

Business outlook

Top industries: High tech, electronics, and financial servicesTop employers: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, John Hancock, Lucent Technologies Inc., Raytheon Systems Co., FleetBoston Financial Corp., and Gillette Co.

Economic outlook: Although there are signs of slowing economic growth, the Massachusetts economy is going strong. Technical personnel in the state are in short supply and can receive bigger raises than counterparts elsewhere.

Tax situation: The state sales tax rate is 5.0 percent, and the state income tax rate is 5.85 percent. Property taxes vary. In Boston the residential rate is $13.15 for every $1,000 of assessed value.

Local talk

"The market for IT professionals is good, and it's going to stay the same.

Prospects for CTO-level candidates depends on if they're really good or not."

-- Tom Barron, president, Barron Associates, Wakefield, Mass.

IT salaries, large companies

Boston:

Vice president, IS - $291,280

IS director - $247,518

Network services - $156,516

Web resources

Boston.com - www.boston.com

This site, operated by the The Boston Globe, offers local news, entertainment listings, and information on careers and real estate.

Massachusetts Software & Internet Council - www.swcouncil.orgVisit this site to check out the association's meetings and events and review "The Complete Guide to the Massachusetts Software and Interactive Industry."

SOURCES: U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, POSITIVE SUPPORT REVIEW SALARY SURVEY, FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD

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