Time for another look at the WaveLength Tech Job Index. It’s been more than a year since we looked at any other tech city besides the Bay Area. In the past year, like the US economy as a whole, most tech cities continued to recover. However, as the chart below clearly shows, progress has been faster for some cities than for others, with nearly all cities taking a recent pause in the action.
Austin’s tech job demand growth outstrips every other tech city included in the WaveLength Tech Job Index project. When Austin’s relatively small size is considered, as it’s what we’d consider a micro tech job market, their demand growth is not only higher, but also more consistent. Together with 4th ranking Dallas, there’s clearly a tech job renaissance deep in the heart of Texas.
The “worst” performing market, in terms of demand growth for tech jobs is Washington, DC. It’s important to consider two key points here. First, remember that index data collection started in October 2009, very likely near the bottom of the Great Recession. Second, thanks to the presence of the federal government, DC never experienced the fast and hard demand declines the rest of the country endured. Simply put, demand in DC is more constant and since it didn’t go down as much, so it’s not going up as much, either.
There are a few other noteworthy markets. The Bay Area- a mega-market along with Washington DC and Boston in its absolute number of jobs- stands out in its pace and consistency of tech jobs demand growth. Not news, but if the Bay Area does not grow, certainly no other tech city would either. Seattle also gets a mention for putting up numbers that are close to the Bay Area. Tech job demand is clearly off-pace in the once-telecom cities of Raleigh-Durham, NC and Denver, CO. The rest of the markets are hanging in there.
Tech job demand has clearly slowed in recent months in all tech cities. It’s off most in Washington DC, as fiscal pressure mount. Boston comes next with a decline of about 15%. Three cities are still posting positive numbers when compared to values from six months ago. It’s off least in Austin,which is still strongly positive, followed by San Diego, and Atlanta.
The number of job postings is collected every Wednesday using well-known job sites and then calculated into the index for each job function. The index contains 6 common functions found in every technology company, including product marketing, product management, application developer, network engineer, sales, and marketing. The index series is designed to measure monthly changes using a smoothed 4-week average rolled up into an overall composite. The program includes coverage of 10 high tech cities since October 28, 2009. We update our research monthly. It features 10 markets – Austin, Atlanta, Bay Area, Boston, Dallas, Denver, San Diego, Seattle, Raleigh/Durham, and Washington DC. Feel free to visit http://www.wlanalytics.com/wordpress/