Silicon Valley likes to live off its reputation for being the center of the Tech Universe, but the numbers no longer say that’s so. It turns out that Seattle, at least when you comb through the data, is #1 when it comes to tech talent.
Seattle’s population has remained relatively the same between 2019 and 2022, according to the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey. But the number of residents working in computer and mathematical occupations increased by 10,000, hitting a record 68,700.
To put that in perspective, that’s roughly 15% of all Seattle residents, or one in seven workers. Sorry, Bay Area, you’re a distant second (San Francisco) and third (San Jose) in tech talent. San Francisco has about 51,000 techies, and San Jose has 56,000, according to the Census Bureau.
For the record, Austin, which gets a lot of national media attention, ranks #4 in the survey with about 9% of its workforce in tech, followed by Atlanta. The bottom feeders were Fresno, Miami, Memphis and Detroit, each with less than 2% tech in their workforce.
New York does beat Seattle in raw numbers of tech talent, 164,000 to 68,700. But the city also has nine times more residents. As a percentage, technology workers make up about 4% of New York’s employed population.
In terms of overall workforce, two categories saw a decline: administrative support and food preparation and service. It’s not surprising since workers went remote in 2019, emptying downtown office buildings and restaurants.
While Seattle takes top honors among major cities, its percentage of the workforce is overshadowed by Redmond, Washington. Redmond ranked #1 among U.S. cities with at least 65,000. In 2022, 35% of its residents worked in computer or mathematical occupations.
So, the secret is out. The new Tech Universe has shifted up the west coast.