Will tech stay or will tech go?
IDK! But one thing's for certain: That persistent question isn't going anywhere.
I get it! It makes sense to ask, given the outsized influence the tech industry has had on the San Francisco Bay Area, not to mention our very idea of the Bay Area. So, to think that could change, maybe even suddenly as some signs point to, presents a Big Question. The call to ask it today is a new report from job search site Indeed that reckons more than a quarter of Bay Area tech workers are looking to leave for other tech hubs.
The relative values of tech salaries in different cities, also examined by the report, justifies that push: $113,497 a year in San Francisco, which Indeed puts as the area's industry average, doesn't go as far as $98,215 in Seattle, that city's industry average. In fact, the report ranked San Francisco as 13th in best value for tech salaries. Doesn't take a STEM wiz to tell you that #13 is not #1!
“The difference in the business cycle now, versus 10 years ago, is that these types of workers now have a dozen other cities where they could find great career opportunities.” Paul D’Arcy of Indeed tells the Business Times, who highlighted the report. “Between the Bay Area and those other markets, the gap is closed in terms of adjusted salary.”
“Twenty six percent of software engineers in San Francisco are searching for jobs out of state,” BuzzFeed quotes D’Arcy. “It used to be people in San Francisco made much more, but that gap is decreasing. With the dramatic increase in cost of living, the economics are becoming less favorable to workers.” Of course we've heard this before from Indeed. Last month they were saying that 88 percent of Bay Area tech workers — who used their premium job search tool — wanted to leave the area within a year. The takeaway there? People who pay to look for new jobs and do so in new regions probably do want to get new jobs in new regions! Compared to that 88 percent number, this 26 percent one sounds more reasonable, but since we were presented with 88 percent first, I hope you'll pardon the skepticism.
The report also concludes that the companies actually hiring in San Francisco are mostly not tech by trade, which throws this all into relief. Says D’Arcy: “We will see a shift in the kind of businesses that can can stay... This is reflected perfectly in the diversity of businesses with open positions.”
Here, those were (in order): Salesforce, Gap Inc., Sutter Health, Uber, First Republic Bank, Dignity Health, UCSF, City & County of SF, Macy's (how old is this data?), and Fitbit.