7 major US cities that could be facing a tech-job apocalypse

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According to Glassdoor, tech jobs openings have declined by 20% from last month.

Wutthichai Luemuang / EyeEm/Getty Images


  • The novel coronavirus has not only ravaged sectors that have seen a huge decline in customer demand, such as airlines and restaurants, but also the tech industry. 
  • CNBC reported that Glassdoor saw job openings in the tech industry decline by roughly 20% last month. 
  • Business Insider used Brookings Institution’s analysis of job growth and geographic concentration of jobs in digital services across major cities from 2010-2018 to see which parts of the US could be most affected by a reduction in tech job openings during the pandemic.
  • According to their results, San Francisco had the highest change in share of US digital services jobs from 2010 to 2018 and had the second largest job growth rate. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

San Francisco has for decades been at the heart of the US tech industry, and that means it could be hit especially hard by a slowdown in tech job openings as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Across US industries, employers have issued layoffs, cut workers’ hours, and have reduced the number of job postings as customer demand has plummeted during the novel coronavirus outbreak. The airline industry had the highest decline in job openings from March at 73.1%. Jobs declined by 46.3% in the arts and entertainment industry because many museums, theatres, and other areas of entertainment are closed. 

Tech is not immune to the broader economic headwinds. According to Glassdoor job figures reported by CNBC, job openings in the tech industry declined by 20.2% between March 9 and April 6.

CNBC noted that some cybersecurity companies, fintech startups, and even well-known computer companies, such as Dell Technologies, have all experienced a decrease in job openings as a result of the coronavirus. 

As businesses try to stay afloat during economic strains from the pandemic, we wanted to to see which cities could be most affected by the latest and upcoming job losses in the tech sector. To do so, we looked at a recent Brookings Institution analysis of where US tech jobs are concentrated

The Brookings analysis for the American Enterprise Institute looks at where the US digital services industry has changed the most from 2010-2018. Jobs within this industry include software publishers, data processing and hosting, computer systems design, and other information services jobs, according to Brookings.

Brookings’ results show that there are still only a few major US cities that make up the bulk of the digital services industry. As the technology industry has evolved over the past decade, some major cities have seen a loss in the share of tech jobs while others have continued to thrive.

We decided to focus on each metro area’s change in the share of all US digital service jobs over 2010-2018 from the report. Brookings noted in their report that from 2010-2018, the top 10 major metro areas home to almost half the jobs in America’s digital services industry. 

For instance, San Francisco has continued to be a hot spot for technology over the past decade. The number of jobs in the San Francisco tech sector grew 11.7% from 2010-2018, and the city had the highest increase of any metro area’s share of the nation’s digital service jobs at 2.2 percentage points. San Francisco also had the third highest share of employment in digital services in 2018 according to Brookings data.

However, Glassdoor tech job openings in San Francisco have declined by 25.5%, according to CNBC.  

Here are the seven major cities where digital services are most concentrated based on Brooking’s estimates of the change in each metro area’s share of employment in the US digital services industry from 2010-2018. We also noted the total change in tech employment in each city over that period and their compound annual growth rates in tech employment:

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