You’ve heard it all before — there’s a Silicon Valley exodus going on. Driven away by high taxes, the shift to remote work, and left-wing politics, CEOs and their companies have sought greener pastures in cities elsewhere in the nation.
The Karp-Thiel-Lonsdale Palantir trinity have all moved themselves or their companies out of the bay area to Denver, LA or Austin. Elon Musk moved both himself and Tesla’s headquarters to Austin, where many major tech companies already have satellite offices ready to shoulder the burden. On the whole, tech is decentralizing out of the long-time mecca of Silicon Valley to wherever they can get tax breaks — both Florida and Texas have no personal state income tax — or attract new talent.
Most of the hype around the departure from the valley is centered around Austin and Miami, where a number of tech CEOs and companies have chosen to set up camp. The hype isn’t all talk — job listing data across 8 major tech companies including Google, Amazon, Paypal, Apple, Microsoft, Dell, Ebay and Oracle shows a 38% increase in job listings for Austin between July 31 and December 21.
The trend is curving upward similarly in Miami, where job listings across six major tech companies have increased 40% in the same time period. That shift is driven primarily by Amazon, which leads the pack with 41 open job listings as of late December.
This great migration isn’t just transplanting Silicon Valley elsewhere; While Miami and Austin are getting the majority of the attention, a number of other cities are getting their fair share of Silicon Valley migrants.
Despite similarly being a west coast tech hub, Seattle hasn’t seen the same flight that Silicon Valley has. Job listings across major tech companies in the city show either an increase or little change in existing trends. Amazon, which is headquartered in Seattle and currently has over 7,000 job listings in the area, has only increased its listings in the city by 2%. Apple and Oracle have increased hiring in the city significantly, with job listings in the one hundred and three hundred range, respectively.
Even when tech workers are leaving the city, more are coming to fill their shoes. For every tech worker that left Seattle from March to October, 2.2 were added, according to Geekwire’s analysis of LinkedIn migration data. Furthermore, Geekwire found that Seattle is becoming a destination for those fleeing the valley — the number of workers moving from the Bay Area to Seattle increased by 28%.
Denver is also seeing an influx of new techies. The soon-to-be home to Palantir’s new headquarters have also drawn eyes from Dell and Oracle, both based in Texas. Dell has increased its job listings from just one in August to 69 by the most recent count, adding 59 job listings overnight between December 18 and 19. Oracle has listings for a modest 16, down from a peak of 21 earlier in the fall. Amazon, which has 122 job listings in the city, has increased it’s count just slightly since the beginning of the year.
All this goes to show that the departure from Silicon Valley is not resulting in another centralized tech hub. That may be recreated on a smaller scale in Austin and Miami, but the pandemic and tax opportunities elsewhere are driving tech to scatter across the country.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online, jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings, and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.