A diaspora of tech talent, driven by Silicon Valley's tumbling job market and sky-high rents, has pushed tech job seekers to some surprising places.
Job search site ZipRecruiter recently analyzed its database of more than 8 million active jobs, and ranked the 20 fastest-growing tech markets based on year-over-year data. Job growth for engineering, software, and IT roles may be losing steam in the Bay Area, but smaller cities are picking up the slack, the company says,
Huntsville, Ala. topped the list, with over 300% tech job growth from 2016 to 2017. Thousand Oaks, Calif. (200%) came in second, followed by Phoenix, Ariz. (188%).
"The tech industry is no longer bound to the coast," says ZipRecruiter’s Chief Economic Adviser, Cathy Barrera. "As a result, we’re seeing the tech industry expand out of the major metropolis areas, and into smaller regional cities that have since flown largely under the radar."
Many of the cities on ZipRecruiter's list are in the Midwest — Kansas City, Kan., Cincinnati, Ohio, and Indianapolis, Ind. are three standouts. The South also had a strong showing, with Nashville, Tenn. and three cities in Florida (Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa) all making the cut.
Barrera credits government policies, like tax breaks that attract entrepreneurs and business startups for much of this growth. But the main impetus, she says, is the skyrocketing cost of living in coastal tech hubs like San Francisco and New York.The median home price of a home in Huntsville hovers around $150,000, according to the report — a fraction of the $1.5 million it costs to buy a home in the Bay Area.