We’re witnessing a Silicon Valley exodus as the pandemic rages on and tech CEOs try to escape the city’s high taxes and left-wing politics, in search of a home base more suited to their needs.
The Karp-Thiel-Lonsdale Palantir trinity have all moved out of the bay area to Denver, LA, or Austin. Elon Musk moved Tesla’s headquarters to Austin, where many major tech companies already have satellite offices. Oracle relocated to Austin, as well, and Hewlett Packard recently announced it will move its global headquarters from Silicon Valley to Houston, the fourth-largest US city.
Texas is an appealing option for these companies, with no personal state income tax. But there are plenty of cities vying to beat out Austin in the race to become the next big tech hub.
Hiring data across eight major tech companies including Google, Amazon, Paypal, Apple, Microsoft, Dell, eBay and Oracle shows a 128% increase in Austin-based job listings from last January to this month. The below chart shows significant growth beginning last summer.
Meanwhile, Nashville-based tech job openings soared over the last year. From January to October 2020, listings were up by almost 2,000%. (The chart below includes hiring data for Oracle, Paypal, eBay, Texas Instruments, and Alphabet, Dell, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft.)
Nashville will soon gain 100 more jobs from the arrival of Yoshi, a former Silicon Valley company that brings field techs to people’s cars for on-the-spot servicing. Company founder Brian Frist saw the obvious tax-related benefits from the move. His father is also former Tennessee senator Bill Frist.
Denver is also seeing an influx of tech workers. 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 57 this month, while Oracle counts 16 openings, up ten from July. Meanwhile, Amazon counts 123 Denver-based listings. From July to now, Palantir has gone from one to seven openings in Denver. Looking at Big Tech job listings in Denver collectively, openings have shot up roughly 500%.
People have bet on Raleigh, North Carolina as the next big tech hub because of its affordability and growing startup scene, but our data shows the city is falling behind in terms of hiring. Over the last year, Raleigh-based tech job openings have fallen by 33%.
Opportunity lies in cities like Richmond, Virginia and Madison, Wisconsin. Our data shows Richmond’s big tech job listings have grown 200% since last January, led by companies like eBay and Amazon. Madison’s tech hiring boost, with openings up 100% from last year, was also helped by Amazon.
Calling Pittsburgh a tech hub would be a big stretch, but the underdog is on its way up, assisted by job listings at Google and Amazon. According to LinkedIn data, Pittsburgh is number 14 on the top cities with the most opportunities for job seekers. Our data shows Google and Amazon job listings in Pittsburgh increasing by 48% and 19% over the past year, respectively.
Then of course we have the big tech cities that are only getting bigger as they absorb Silicon Valley migrants, but the speed of growth is slowing. 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 4% over the past year.
That said, Apple and Oracle have increased hiring in the city significantly. Apple’s Seattle-based job listings are up by 71%, while Oracle’s have surged by 50%. From July to December of last year, Dell increased their Seattle listings by 71%. What’s more, 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%.
According to our data, Boston is a growing hotspot. Over the last two years, Boston-based job openings at tech companies like Dell, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft have skyrocketed. Collectively, giant tech entities have ramped up hiring efforts in Boston by over 1,000%. Boston’s tech hiring growth peaked last year along with the pandemic. (The chart below includes hiring data for Oracle, Paypal, eBay, Texas Instruments, and Alphabet, as well as Dell, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft.)
And then there’s Miami, where Amazon is leading an upward trend of tech hiring. According to the Information, a source who works with a person who knows Naval Ravikant, founder of tech investment site AngelList, said he heard Ravikant might be coming to Miami to “check it out.” Another person heard that Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, has a meeting with Miami’s mayor, Francis Suarez.
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.