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Is This the Beginning of a Tech Exodus?
Lamar Anderson | Photo: Background image: Travis Wise/Creative Commons | August 12, 2016
More than a quarter of S.F. software engineers are looking for jobs out of state.
News of tech workers being priced out of an increasingly unaffordable Bay Area has been circulating for years: SF Weekly and the LA Times pounced on it back in 2014, and now and then OMG-inducing stories—the tech couple who sold their condo to move into an Airstream, the millennial Googler camping in the Googleplex parking lot, the lawyer and software engineer couple who can't afford Palo Alto—seem to warn of a techpocalypse. Now, the job site Indeed reports that a full 26 percent of software engineers in San Francisco are searching for jobs out of state. That stat, first spotted by BuzzFeed, is either alarming or a delectable dose of schadenfreude (or both!), depending on your pay grade.
Indeed's report ranks tech-friendly cities according to how far the average tech salary goes there. So while San Francisco techies make more bank than their brethren elsewhere, their income takes the equivalent of a 20 percent hit when you factor in cost of living. Someone earning $113,497 (average for an S.F. tech worker, according to Indeed's data) is in effect making $23,000 less, just above $90,000. Compare that to the roughly $95,000 and $91,000 that Austin and Seattle techies can bring in, adjusting for cost of living, and those Seattle real-estate searches coming out of the Bay Area start to pile up.
Then again, even if all of those wanderlusty tech workers did find a job and move away, they could just be balancing out another worker influx. The Mercury News reports that Bay Area gained 11,000 jobs in June (in most industries, not just tech), suggesting that a job-growth slowdown isn't coming anytime soon. In other words, you haven't heard the last of parking-lot slumber parties and backyard tent Airbnbs.
Originally published by San Francisco