Throughout the pandemic, pundits and analysts questioned whether technologists would migrate away from the country’s most expensive tech hubs. On paper, the idea certainly made sense: If remote work was the future, why would technologists bother living in places with ultra-high rents, long commutes, and intense competition for jobs?
Over the course of the past two years, some data seemed to back that theory. For example, a number of prominent tech companies (including Oracle and Tesla) transplanted their headquarters from Silicon Valley to Texas, in search of lower taxes and (for their employees) a lower cost of living. Meanwhile, small but significant percentages of technologists told Blind, which surveys anonymous technologists on a range of issues, that they’d relocated from the Bay Area. It was a similar situation in New York City, where many workers simply left for cheaper environs, as well as Seattle.
But Silicon Valley and the other, more established tech hubs certainly aren’t dead—far from it, in fact. According to CompTIA’s latest job report, San Francisco enjoyed a significant increase in job postings between October and November, suggesting an increase in local demand for technologists:
Meanwhile, New York City led in overall tech job postings in November, outpacing up-and-coming tech hubs such as Washington, D.C., Dallas, Atlanta, and Phoenix. On the state level, California saw its tech job postings increase by roughly 570 last month, hitting 42,969—placing it ahead of Texas, which saw its tech job postings decrease by 6,300 (for a total of 29,553).
The biggest tech companies also continue to invest heavily in the older tech hubs. For example, Google recently announced its intention to spend an additional $2.1 billion on Manhattan office space. “As Google moves toward a more flexible hybrid approach to work, coming together in person to collaborate and build community will remain an important part of our future. It is why we continue investing in our offices around the world,” the company wrote in a corporate blog posting. “Our decision to exercise our option to purchase [St. John’s Terminal, as part of its growing ‘Hudson Square campus’] further builds upon our existing plans to invest more than $250 million this year in our New York campus presence.”
According to an analysis by The New York Times, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple collectively hired more than 2,600 employees in New York City throughout 2020, despite the reported exodus of technologists and companies. Amazon is moving into a Midtown building once occupied by Lord & Taylor, while Facebook is taking over the Farley Building, which is a New York City Landmark.
Between real estate purchases and hiring, it’s clear that the traditional tech hubs of Silicon Valley, New York City, and Seattle aren’t going anywhere. That’s great news for the technologists who want a piece of these tech hubs’ energy and opportunity—but that also doesn’t stop those workers from potentially pursuing their careers in smaller cities.