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38 percent of Bay Area techies are looking elsewhere for a job

Job growth in the sector is down and migration to other cities with tech hubs is up

Facebook’s thumbs-up “Like” logo on the company’s headquarters sign, modified so that the thumb is pointing to the side, like the hand of a hitchhiker
“Going my way?”
Nick Fox/Shutterstock

On the heels of a poll suggesting that 40 percent of Bay Area residents are considering leaving (a statistic that is hardly binding but is notably growing in recent years) comes news that Silicon Valley may be leading the potential exodus.

The career site Indeed analyzed job searches in both San Francisco and San Jose, and discovered that “38 percent of tech job seekers [...] are looking for tech jobs outside of those metros.”

The Indeed blog also notes that “San Francisco and San Jose have the the third lowest growth of inbound tech job searches at just two percent.”

Naturally, just because the tech set might browse jobs outside of the region doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all leaving. And a few of those who do leave may only go so far as some other Bay Area city.

But the fact that it’s a rising statistic, up 41 percent in the last five years (on Indeed, at least), suggests a change in the wind.

The number of tech jobs in the Bay Area rose 24.8 percent in Santa Clara County and 28.5 percent in San Francisco during that same period according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, so wandering eyes are outpacing regional growth.

The San Jose Mercury News reported in February that job growth in the tech sector plunged in 2016, expanding only 3.5 percent, the smallest gains since 2012.

On the other hand, tech worker’s yen for broader horizons was slightly less on Indeed than that of Bay Area workers in general, 44 percent of whom are searching elsewhere on the site.

Ken Wolter

And Forbes estimates that the regional technology sector grew 90 percent between 2006 and 2016. So some slowdown is bound to happen.

Still, Bloomberg observes that Portland, Seattle, and LA are adding tech jobs every year and that “home prices in those cities are at least half of those in San Francisco.”

Perhaps not coincidentally, LinkedIn noted in March that Portland and Seattle are the most common destinations for de-locating San Franciscans, right alongside Austin, Texas, another city with a robust tech scene.