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New York Falls and Seattle Rises on 'America's Top Tech Cities' List (geekwire.com) 100

CRBE has released their annual list of the top tech cities in the U.S., analyzing 13 metrics (including salaries and housing costs) to "gauge the competitive advantage of markets and their ability to attract, grow and retain tech-talent pools." An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes an article from Geekwire: Seattle is the third best tech market in North America, trailing only the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington D.C.... Seattle passed New York for third this year on the back of a growing, well-paid and well-educated class of tech employees and a strong roster of big companies...with New York and Austin rounding out the top five.

The report shows a big divide in Seattle between a prosperous tech community and everyone else. Tech workers in Seattle make $110,999 on average, and their wages have increased close to 20 percent since 2010... The 177,380 people who work in other professional fields like finance, sales and marketing make an average of $57,603 per year and their wages have only increased 6.3 percent since 2010. During that same time period, apartment rents increased 39 percent to an average of $1,619 a month.

San Francisco had the highest annual salary for tech workers -- $123,921 -- followed by Seattle, which also had the highest percentage of workers with at least a bachelor's degree -- 59%. And there's also an interesting second list of the top small tech markets, which is led by Columbus, Ohio followed by Charlotte, North Carolina, and Portland, Oregon.
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New York Falls and Seattle Rises on 'America's Top Tech Cities' List

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  • by sunderland56 ( 621843 ) on Sunday July 03, 2016 @09:41PM (#52440975)

    Anyone who has lived and worked in the Bay Area knows: "San Francisco" and "Silicon Valley" (Mountain View/Sunnyvale) and "San Jose" and "East Bay" are very different, very distinct markets. Heck, we're talking about an area the size of Rhode Island; why wouldn't they be distinct? But oh so many studies, done by so-called professionals, confuses the areas, or mashes them together.

    • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Sunday July 03, 2016 @09:57PM (#52441037) Journal
      Clearly, the inordinately distinct sections of the Bay are comprised of barely hirsute primates of vastly differing lineages, and at maximum, the number of second cousins is but a simple majority.
    • Re:What is a "city" (Score:5, Informative)

      by Guillermito ( 187510 ) on Sunday July 03, 2016 @11:34PM (#52441255) Homepage
      Anyone who has lived and worked in the Bay Area knows a lot of people living in San jose and working in San Francisco, vice versa, or anything in between. The fact that a great deal of people living in the so called Bay Area would consider working in any other part of the Bay Area makes it, by definition, a single job market, which is the focus of this study.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "Anyone who has lived and worked in the Bay Area knows: "San Francisco" and "Silicon Valley" (Mountain View/Sunnyvale) and "San Jose" and "East Bay" are very different, very distinct markets. Heck, we're talking about an area the size of Rhode Island..."

      ...which is to say the average size of a county anywhere else. It is nothing to live one county over. San Francisco and the Silicon Valley are the exact same place just as Rhode Island and Boston are the exact same thing. Come on out to so-called "flyo
    • Could an employee live in a central location and reasonably commute to any of the three? (Honest question; I've never lived there.) If so, then it makes sense to treat them as a single employment market.
      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        Could an employee live in a central location and reasonably commute to any of the three? (Honest question; I've never lived there.) If so, then it makes sense to treat them as a single employment market.

        Not really. Your commute will be hellish and your housing costs won't be that much lower because you're not the first person to come up with this idea.

        Seattle is turning into the same kind of over-priced shithole as Silicon Valley. Yuppies clog the city holding their Starbucks cup as if it was the Holy Grail.

        Too many people, too many cars, housing is very expensive and is going up daily, infrastructure is overwhelmed and underfunded. As a result, homeless people are everywhere. You have to move out to one o

        • Gee, chip on your shoulder much? Hypothetically speaking, if I were to move from Austin to Seattle (which I'm not considering) it would be for the following reasons:

          1. More tech employers = less likelihood of my ever being without a job.
          2. More / better outdoor stuff. Texas is kind of "meh" in that regard.


          Haven't run the numbers, but I've always suspected that cost-of-living differences (not just Seattle, but generally speaking) are to a large degree offset by differences in salary. Places that cos
          • Gee, chip on your shoulder much?

            Please fuck off. I've lived in Seattle for 30+ years and I've watched the city go downhill in real time. Social services have gone to shit, the infrastructure is crumbling, and hipsters infest the sidewalks like swarms of cockroaches, each desperately trying to be hipper than the loser behind him on his fixie.

            Yes, my house has tripled in value, but so what- that only means anything if I'm planning on moving, which won't be for a while. It's nice to have a low house payment though- I pay way less per month f

            • Well, first off, you come off as bitter and spiteful. Need to tone that shit down. That said, a couple points/questions:

              1. I would only move to the Seattle area if I thought I could roughly match my current standard of living. Given cost-of-living differences I'd need to make 15-20% more in Seattle for that to be the case. I say "roughly" because I consider there to be certain intangibles that favor Seattle. Namely, the ability to drive an hour or two out of town and be at Mt. Ranier or Olympic Natl.
      • They can and they do it. Many Google employees live in San Francisco and commute to Mountain View, located in the South Bay. The company even provides shuttle buses for them, which fueled protests since rent prices close to the shuttle bus stops have gone up noticeably (search for google bus protests). This alone tells you that the number of people doing this is not negligible.
  • by sittingnut ( 88521 ) <sittingnut&gmail,com> on Sunday July 03, 2016 @09:46PM (#52440999) Homepage

    i suppose 50s there were similar lists of america's top industrial cities.
    its a nasty (rather than celebratory) thing when a city/country is not economically diversified.

    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday July 03, 2016 @10:00PM (#52441053)

      its a nasty (rather than celebratory) thing when a city/country is not economically diversified.

      Tech companies tend to have few employees for their size. In the SF Bay Area, there isn't a single tech company in the top ten of the list of employers [sfced.org]. The big employers include education (several big universities), health care, finance, and even the oil industry (Chevron is based in San Ramon).

      • Yeah, that list is at best misleading.

        According to the second chart, Apple doesn't have 1376 employees in the Bay Area. There are more employees ahead of me in the lunch queue at Cafe Macs than that! Apple are building a second campus (and keeping the first) which will on its own hold 13,000 employees. The first campus is supposed to hold ~7000 IIRC, but it's being pushed to about 10,000 right now with people doubling up.

        And if you've ever gone over to the Googleplex, you'll see a whole bunch of buildings t

  • Intel Layoffs (Score:5, Informative)

    by fermion ( 181285 ) on Sunday July 03, 2016 @09:46PM (#52441001) Homepage Journal
    Of course the big news in Portland is that Intel is and will layoff well over 1,000 workers. It is unclear that this city with a metro population of 2 million has the high paying tech job to absorb that loss. Expecially in market when you need $1500 a month just for rent.
    • $1500 a month in rent isn't high.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't Seattle have, like, no broadband? How does a city where the average resident might as well be on dialup become one of the hottest tech cities?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What's with all the whining about no fast internet in Seattle? I get a gigabit to my apartment for pretty cheap.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      CondoInternet only supports about fifty buildings in the entire region, so you're one of the lucky few.

  • When you factor cost of living, 124,000USD in San Francisco is not that much. Rents are ridiculously high in SF. I dont know about other cities in the states but while I love that city, it would not be my first relocation choice based on expenses.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Manhattan is about $4,000/mo for a decent 1bdrm. $3,200/mo if you're willing to forgo some amenities. At $124,000 salary, take-home pay will only amount to $70,000, and you'll easily give another $35,000/year at least on rent. So your take home will be 28% of your salary, or about $35,000/yr, which will be further spent on food and entertainment. So you're really down to $20,000/yr in savings. And you're not buying an apartment any time soon because at $1.5 million and 20% down, it will take you 10 ye

      • that's why you're stupid for living in manhattan when there are four other boroughs. i know people who take the express bus from staten island and i take the subway or the LIRR in from queens. and i own my apartment here with lots of equity to make a lot of money off people like you when you grow up and move out of manhattan
      • Caveat: I've never lived in NYC. That said, I AirBnB'd a family's apartment for 2 weeks in Washington Heights while I was there on vacation. On a lark, I looked up how much it would cost me to buy a condo in a nearby building that was being remodeled. Roughly two bedrooms and ~1200 sq. foot. If I recall correctly, I think it was around $550k. Granted it's not the best part of town, but on the particular block where we stayed I never felt in danger. It was a 2 block walk to the A-line so I could be do
    • Consider Nashville (Score:4, Informative)

      by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Monday July 04, 2016 @05:12AM (#52441869) Homepage Journal

      I'm not surprised to see Nashville listed as a "momentum market" in this report, there's a lot of interesting stuff going on there (I lived there for 9 years before relocating in 2014) and for 20-somethings it's an exciting and affordable place to live.

    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      Things that cost the same everywhere cost the same in SF. Your 401k's cap is the same. Your smart phone is the same, your kid's college education will be the same (assuming they move anyway).

      If you're dumping money in rent, that may or may not make you come up ahead with the above. If you dump your money in a mortgage instead...then you're -way- ahead, unless you're expecting a massive crash before you sell.

      You can also do interesting things: home renovation doesn't magically get more expensive. Labor might

  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Sunday July 03, 2016 @11:09PM (#52441227) Journal

    Consistently, the top cities for I.T. jobs/careers also have some of the highest costs of living in the nation. And often, the average salaries paid in those "top cities" are really pretty sub-par for the areas. (Lots of I.T. job availability also means a lot of competition for openings, as people migrate there from all over the country who have those skills.)

    As someone who moved to the DC area for an I.T. job, let me tell you -- when you factor in the combo of housing prices at LEAST double to triple what they were in the midwest (whether you're buying or renting) and the commuting challenges up here? I'd advise any of my mid-western friends in I.T. to stay where they are, vs. moving up to this part of the country. Exception would be some kind of sweet government contractor position guaranteeing you 4x your current salary or more.

    In my own case, I was simply burnt out and tired of living and working in the same city I grew up in. I was ready to relocate someplace else because 40 years or so in the same city was enough for me, period. The DC area was the opportunity that kind of fell into my lap and I got to work for a firm where 2 of my friends already had a job. So I packed up and went for it. There's not a week that goes by, 4 years later, that I haven't questioned if all of this was really such a good idea. But my wife and I scraped and scratched out a living that's now pretty equivalent to what we had before. We're "doing okay" by most standards.

    I'm just saying -- these surveys of "best places to work" are often only looking at a few isolated factors, and they don't REALLY help you make good decisions.

    • by Nite_Hawk ( 1304 )

      Working and living in those places still puts you ahead in absolute terms if you invest your earnings in non-depreciating assets. The cost of housing skews much higher in those places than typically necessary material goods (cars, home appliances, etc). Assuming you invest your money well in DC, that should put you in a good position to retire in the midwest and/or leave a better inheritance (in absolute terms) for your kids some day should you so choose.

    • I'm just saying -- these surveys of "best places to work" are often only looking at a few isolated factors, and they don't REALLY help you make good decisions.

      Actually, it's worse — these surveys shit up towns. When people hear there's lots of work there, they go there looking for work, and the result is that the job market gets clogged with seekers and there's thousands of applications for every position. The exact same thing happens when a big magazine publishes a survey of the best cities to live in. They just fucked Petaluma, CA with one of those recently. We loved that town, but it became well known and now driving and parking is just a fuckfest, and n

  • sf is constrained by building space... natural for seattle to come in 2nd and keep growing
    • If you think Seattle isn't constrained geographically, you have no clue what you're talking about. The area is worse than SF in many ways. SF has accessible relief regions, while Seattle has a lake with only two bridges and yet another lake east of that. All that region is filled from past boom periods. SF's metro area extends into the Central Valley, while Seattle has mountains, water, and a live volcano blocking it in. At best, it is slightly worse than SF.
  • Seattle misery: HUGE problems with traffic. New construction makes the traffic worse. Amazon and Microsoft abusing employees. Shockingly slow internet connections.

    Amazon: Worse than Wal-Mart: Amazon's sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimidating workers [salon.com] (February 23, 2014)

    Microsoft: Microsoft Is Filled With Abusive Managers And Overworked Employees, Says Tell-All Book [businessinsider.com] (May 23, 2012)

    Traffic: Seattle one of the worst U.S. cities for traffic congestion, tied with NYC [geekwire.com] (March 31, 2015) Quote: "An additional 23 minutes a day spent in traffic may not sound like much, but when it adds up over a year it becomes 89 hours." (Whoever wrote that must be accustomed to Seattle misery. An additional 23 minutes a day spent in traffic sounds HORRIBLE.)

    Slow internet: Many areas of Seattle have poor internet connections. See the article, These places have the slowest Internet in the country [cnn.com]. (June 25, 2015) Quote: "... Seattle ... CenturyLink (CTL) customers trying to access particular sites from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. will have unbearably slow speeds."
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Seattle misery: HUGE problems with traffic. New construction makes the traffic worse. Amazon and Microsoft abusing employees. Shockingly slow internet connections.

      If you don't like traffic, don't drive. Seattle's transit is good but not great, but if you have a tech job, you can afford rent where there is transit. I grew up nearish NYC. The traffic isn't a big deal because you get around NYC by train, not car. Seattle is pretty good with buses and is slowly building out trains, but unfortunately does not have the political will to make transit the priority it should be.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Seattle misery: HUGE problems with traffic. New construction makes the traffic worse. Amazon and Microsoft abusing employees. Shockingly slow internet connections.

      I've been in Seattle for a lil while. Traffic does suck. The roads here are very poorly planned. Some friends in the DOT contracting business have shared that the companies are milking contracts for all their worth and dumping them (hearsay) ... The internet is getting better. Centurylink adopted a debunked fibre installation in the city and had it up and running at near 1gig speeds just a few months after adoption (about 800mbits is the max I've ever seen while streaming a linux distro in a torrent app) ..

    • I ended up in Seattle after a move from San Diego almost four years ago. I came for the weather, shockingly-enough, not the tech sector. In fact, most job offers I saw out of the region that weren't at one of the companies you mentioned, paid laughably-bad. Like a solid 30% cut from where I was at. The only thing that drew me in was housing prices...

      Fast forward to today and I don't know why anyone would do it. The built infrastructure is third world grade and worse than just about anywhere in flyover count

  • Seattle traffic is terrible enough as it is.

    Nothing like going 5mph max on I-5.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 04, 2016 @02:32AM (#52441577)

    I nearly got lured to Seattle by Amazon, but balked when I realized how much higher the cost of living was, especially in contrast to the only slightly higher salaries. For every dollar they put in your pocket, the location takes three back out. The famous tech places like SF, NYC, DC and Seattle are a huge trap.

    To rent a 4-5 bed house in Tampa is about the same as renting a shoebox sized studio near the amazon campus. There's really not much overlap between the price ranges for housing costs. If you're willing to commute an hour and a half in Seattle or San Jose or NYC or SF, you can maybe get houses that cost under half a million. That same commute here gets you 50k houses.

    I had a similar experience coming from CA to FL in the first place- the salaries are definitely higher in CA, but the cost of living is astronomical by comparison. When I was in my early 20s, fresh out of college, getting a 50% bump in salary to move to CA seemed awesome... and then I realized I was getting a 300% bump in rent to go along with it. And state income tax. And federal AMT. And CA state AMT. When I moved back out of CA after a few years of salary gains, I took a 20k/year salary cut but somehow ended up holding on to an extra 2-3k a month in savings.

    A lot of people move to the big tech hubs for a few years and burn out their finances trying to survive there. It's seems like you're doing great, but a few months being unemployed (which happens from time to time in any career) can wipe out even significant amounts of savings. The only people I've seen survive in those places long term have family there from before those places got expensive (ie, free place to crash and lots of real estate equity) or they got lucky and struck gold from an IPO. Everyone else is just trying to get rich before they go broke.

    • Similar story here, turned down a job offer near NYC for the same reasons. Not only did salary barely cover the outrageous living expenses, if that job were to go away there was no other company there where my skills were marketable. There was no way I could afford to own a house much less live there, and I don't make chump change for a salary.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    How fucking stupid. CBRE is a commercial real estate firm. Who gives a shit what they say. Look at the cities they have the biggest presence in. Big fucking surprise, Slashdot retards.

  • 10-20 minute commute? check
    Can get through the airport quick? check
    Affordable housing? check
    Clean air? check
    Lack of traffic? check

    Spokane, Yakima, Tri-Cities are not bad at all... Unless you can't handle someone calling you out for being a moron, regardless of political leanings.

  • I've been to that big New York Falls, but don't know exactly what do they mean by the Seattle Rises. Is some kind of known mountain range?

    Anyway, nice to see that natural spaces get to make the list of top ten tech cities.Way to go, Nature!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I left a "rising" Seattle in 2012 because it was getting too expensive for me or anyone who didn't have a top 10 percentile income to live there. In Seattle's case, its because Bezos wants to put virtually all Amazon's decent paying jobs there, leaving the miserably paying work for the rest of the country.

    Even those who can manage to stay are getting screwed. The city's wealthy developers (looking at you Paul Allen), want to grab all the money from selling or renting to these new high-income people, particu

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