Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 4, 2017

It’s not getting better

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:04 am

Last week the Wall Street Journal blog had a piece on why housing affordability won’t necessarily put a damper on growth, excerpts:

In theory, the high-wage jobs of the technology industry could be filled by people working anywhere. But in practice, the best tech jobs in the U.S., offering salaries in excess of $100,000 a year, are becoming increasingly concentrated in the metropolitan areas of just eight cities, according to new research.

The eight leading U.S. tech hubs account for slightly less than 10% of U.S. jobs and about 13% of overall job postings. But the cities — Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, Austin, Raleigh, Washington, Baltimore and Boston — account for more than 27% of the listings for U.S. tech jobs, research from Jed Kolko, the chief economist of the job-search website Indeed, shows.

That’s already a striking concentration, but tech jobs with the highest salaries are even more centralized. Among jobs that typically pay over $100,000, nearly 40% of openings are in those eight cities.


“There’s been essentially no dispersion of tech jobs,” said Mr. Kolko, who conducted the research. “Which metro is the next Silicon Valley? The answer is none, at least for the foreseeable future. Silicon Valley still stands apart.”

While high costs and the possibility of telework might lead some employers to locate staff outside the hubs, other employers might be attracted to the hubs for their deep talent pools, for their proximity to venture capital, or simply because even in high-tech fields there’s huge value in face-to-face interactions. Whatever the reason, the forces of centralization are winning out.

So despite folks asking why these tech jobs can’t just move to someplace else, the answer is, they don’t have to so they don’t want to.  With huge salaries on offer, the displacement won’t come from the tech talent, it will come for the people who can least afford it because those with housing security believe their “quality of life” however that is defined, is worth other people needing to commute for three hours because their city is “full.”



  1. We are blowing past the Third industrial revolution into the Fourth (robots) leaving many workers behind. You really just listed one of the reasons Trump won. The rest of the country wasn’t/isn’t doing very well (other than the 8 technology hubs). Working people were marginalized or taken for granted by the entrenched Democrats in those states and offered no solutions (What Happened) California has been a solidly Democrat state for many years. Go ahead and list all the accomplishments (not just bills) of all our California Demo leaders about the issues raised by this article. It turns out raising the minimum wage and declaring sanctuary cities across the state is not enough….and according to Al Gore, shouldn’t we be building sea walls not housing?

    Comment by Nowyouknow — August 4, 2017 @ 7:12 am

  2. I’m really surprised to see Baltimore on the list! That’s where I lived for many years before transplanting to the Bay Area (for love, not money). I just checked, and there are plenty of homes for sale in my old neighborhood (a lovely area in the northern part of town, many miles from the “dangerous” parts of Baltimore you hear about on the news) for under $300K. Smaller homes in other parts of town can be had for under $200K. That has to make it one of the affordable of the tech hubs… certainly more so than Boston, Seattle or SF/San Jose. Of course, you have to put up with 100-degree temps in the summer and snow in the winter…

    Comment by trow125 — August 4, 2017 @ 10:38 am

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