When Tony Bennett first sang “I Left my Heart in San Francisco,” who knew that classic song could be used to describe the migration of the Bay Area’s top technology talent to other parts of the country. It seems a combination of factors – most notably the high cost of living in California – is conspiring to make many of San Francisco’s IT workers consider employment elsewhere. Is Silicon Valley soon to be a ghost town?
While that latter question is probably an exaggeration, there’s no denying this is an industry trend worth watching. Let’s look more closely at the reasons why San Francisco is losing more of its best IT talent.
A New Study Notes a Growing Number of Bay-Area Tech Workers Want Out
A recent study reported on the increasing number of Bay Area technology workers looking to relocate to another part of the country. 29 percent of the 50,000 survey respondents hope to move away from the Bay Area, which is a seven percent increase over last year. Those wishing to relocate are largely hoping for a higher quality of life, according to the San Francisco Business Times.
Surprisingly, nearly half of those wishing to relocate want to move back to the New York City area. This seems to contradict the point about worker dissatisfaction with the high cost of living in the Bay Area. However, a closer look at the numbers notes many recent members of San Francisco’s tech community are originally from New York.
Bay Area Tech Compensation Not Keeping Up with Increasing Housing Costs
Even though a region’s average salaries are supposed to match its cost of living factor, it seems the increasing housing costs in the Bay Area make it hard to keep up. The slowing of Wall Street’s recent bull market since the Great Recession is also contributing to lower earning expectations for tech workers. When factoring smaller compensation with higher rents and other related expenses, it’s no surprise the technology talent from California is either looking to move where the living is cheap or relocate back home to New York.
Don’t expect this trend to reverse itself until Bay Area housing costs start to decline – if that ever happens.
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