Silicon Valley still holds a strong allure for many job seekers in tech, even as housing prices and the cost of living in the area continue to rise.
The online job platform Glassdoor looked at more than 668,000 job applications on its site between January 8 and 14, posted by applicants hailing from the 40 largest metro areas in the U.S. The goal was to see which cities job seekers are most likely to want to move to, and away from. Among what Glassdoor calls “metro movers” — that is, job seekers who were filling out applications for jobs other than those in their home metro area — the most popular destination was San Francisco.
Among all metro mover applications, 12.4 percent were for jobs in San Francisco, 8.4 percent for New York City, 6.9 percent for San Jose, and 6.8 percent for Los Angeles. Among the other six cities rounding out the list of the 10 most popular locations for job seekers, each received between 2.3 and 4.3 percent of all metro mover job applications. Those cities were: Washington, D.C.; Boston; Chicago; Seattle; Dallas-Fort Worth; and Austin.
Glassdoor also looked at metro areas with a high percentage of job seekers applying for jobs in other cities. According to Glassdoor, San Jose had the second-highest percentage of job seekers applying for jobs outside of the area, but there’s a big caveat. Of the 47.6 percent of job applications from San Jose residents looking for jobs in other places, nearly 30 percent were for jobs in San Francisco. So while on the surface it may look like job seekers are fleeing San Jose, they’re not going very far. Or there may be a large number of job seekers at a few companies in San Jose who are looking to leave.
Other metro areas with a high percentage of job seekers included Riverside and Sacramento California — most of the applicants there were looking at jobs in Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively. Job seekers likely to be looking for jobs in other markets could also be found in Ohio (Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland), as well as in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — cities in the area sometimes known as the Rust Belt. Many of these applicants were looking at jobs in other Midwestern markets, like Chicago. But in Pittsburgh, in particular, many job seekers who were looking to move also filled out applications for roles in San Francisco and New York.
“I think what’s going on there is that although tech jobs have started to spread out to smaller cities — like away from the San Francisco Bay Area and away from Seattle and away from New York and into places like Raleigh, North Carolina; Provo; Austin; and others — tech jobs are still very clustered,” Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist, told VentureBeat in a phone interview.
It’s important to note that while Glassdoor looked at job applications among a wide variety of industries — not just tech — the report did find that tech workers were most likely to be willing to move. Men and younger employees were also more likely than women and more senior employees to be willing to relocate. Chamberlain said that these findings are important for companies that are trying to recruit talent from other places.
“This is really interesting for employers who are concerned about diversity of candidate pools — what this research is telling you is if you’re trying to attract talent, and trying to get them to move cross-country for your jobs, that if you don’t make special efforts, you are more likely to have more senior workers, more older workers, and women … underrepresented in your pool,” Chamberlain said.