Corporate America, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley have spoken out against Texas’s new abortion law, and even threatened not to do business there over it. But thanks to a combination of the industry’s momentum in Texas and a nationwide labor shortage, tech companies are hiring in the state more than ever.
The law in question not only bans abortions after six weeks of pregancy, but deputizes citizens to sue anyone providing abortions after the cutoff, making Texas the state with the most severe restrictions on the procedure. The law went into effect in May, flouting Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.
In response to the law, dozens of companies came together to release a letter condemning the law. The companies, including Lyft, Box, Stitch Fix, Yelp, Asana, Bumble, Glossier, Patagonia, and VICE, wrote that “restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence, and economic stability of our workers and customers.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, some companies, including Starbucks and Microsoft, declined to participate in the statement. So far, the companies’ opposition to the law hasn’t been reflected in the Texas job market.
According to our data, there are currently 15,300 job listings for tech companies in Texas, well above the number of listings during the past 2 years. In fact, there are 174% more listings than this time last year. The jump in listings began in April 2021, and doesn’t show any signs of dropping yet. The companies hiring include Amazon, which has 3,970 listings, Adobe (5 listings), Apple (566), Microsoft (166), IBM (509), and Nvidia (25).
Other companies, some of which weren’t a part of the letter, took measures to either assist Texas-based employees or leave altogether. Gaurab Chakrabarti, CEO of biotech startup Solugen, wrote in a tweet that his company was planning to leave Texas.
“Disgusted by this abortion ban,” he wrote. “As the CEO of @solugen, a Texas-based company, I am ashamed of our state for this. We have started looking for expansion opportunities outside the state.”
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff promised to help Texas employees relocate. Using the Hawaiian word for family and a heart emoji, he tweeted, “Ohana if you want to move we’ll help you exit TX. Your choice.”
Shar Dubey, CEO of Dallas-based dating company Match Group, sent a company-wide memo condemning the law. Dubey along with rival dating app Bumble also started assistance funds for those affected by the law.
Tech companies aren’t the only businesses claiming they are going to boycott Texas — Hollywood is joining in. “The Wire” creator David Simon announced he would no longer be filming his upcoming HBO show in Texas, citing a lack of civil liberties for the crew as the reason.
“My response is NOT rooted in any debate about political efficacy or the utility of any boycott,” Simon wrote on Twitter. “My singular responsibility is to securing and maintaining the civil liberties of all those we employ during the course of a production.”