The tech industry continues to shape the American workforce in a number of ways. It’s not just that cities with a large tech industry are likely attracting more tech workers, but the concentration of tech jobs in a city may also be affecting how many other types of workers also move there.
Today, LinkedIn published a year-end report on employment trends in the U.S. workforce in 2017. The report was compiled using data from 43 million LinkedIn user profiles in the U.S., 20,000 company profiles, and 3 million monthly job postings.
Unsurprisingly, the report found that medium-sized tech hubs in the western U.S. like Seattle, Denver, and Austin are gaining the most workers. LinkedIn found that for every 10,000 LinkedIn members in Seattle, 67.2 arrived in the last 12 months. (One should view this number with caution, however, as a complete indicator of how many workers in total are moving to Seattle. LinkedIn classifies a person as “moving” if they update the city listed on their LinkedIn profile.)
Meanwhile, the cities that are losing the most workers are concentrated in the Midwest and on the East Coast. The three cities that lost the most workers in 2017 are Hartford, Connecticut; Norfolk, Virginia; and Providence, Rhode Island.
While the tech industry may be bringing high-paying tech jobs to West Coast cities, that doesn’t mean that tech-heavy cities are attractive for all workers. The LinkedIn report found that San Francisco was the city with the largest scarcity of skills in 2017. That is, it was the city with the largest amount of skills where the city had more jobs that demanded certain skills than workers with those skills available to fill them. Some of the most scarce skills in San Francisco include: health care management, sales, education and teaching, and retail store operations. These are also some of the most scarce skills in Austin and Seattle.
So, it appears that while a high concentration of tech companies may be an attractive force in bringing workers to a city, sometimes an abundance of too many tech workers means that employers may have trouble attracting other types of workers.
As for companies who feel like San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, and Austin are getting too crowded, they may want to look to Columbus or Raleigh-Durham. According to LinkedIn, these cities have an overabundance of a high number of skills, including many that tech companies will find attractive.
Raleigh-Durham has a high number of workers who are trained in computer network administration, statistical analysis, data mining, and IT infrastructure and system management. Meanwhile, Columbus has an overabundance of workers with HR, general finance, and logistics and supply chain management skills.