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The Seattle skyline
The Seattle skyline

Employers are filling tech jobs in Seattle faster than ever, according to the chief economist of Indeed, based on her analysis of postings on the job aggregation site. And trends in the real estate market suggest that one reason is an influx of talent from the Bay Area as tech workers relocate to Seattle.

Indeed Chief Economist Tara Sinclair.
Indeed Chief Economist Tara Sinclair

“There is still a ton of demand for tech workers in Seattle,” said Indeed Chief Economist Tara Sinclair in an interview with GeekWire today. “But the percentage of open jobs is shifting, suggesting that employers are filling roles more quickly and easily than they have in the past because there is more tech talent in the area.”

Indeed’s listings show that tech jobs make up a smaller share of the job postings in the city than they did four years ago. However, the total number of tech jobs in the city hasn’t decreased — in fact, as more tech companies choose to open offices in Seattle and the labor market in the city has grown more generally with Seattle’s population boom, the raw number of tech positions has also increased.

Furthermore, tech positions still are the jobs Seattle employers most need filled, with more jobs posted in tech than in any other industry besides nursing, according to Indeed’s study.

But the numbers show that available jobs in computer and mathematical occupations in Seattle, as a percentage of all job listings on Indeed, have dropped from 23.8 percent in 2012 to 16.3 percent in 2016.

All of this leads Sinclair to the conclusion that tech jobs in Seattle are being filled at a faster rate than ever before, as tech workers relocate to the city.

“A few years ago, it was harder to find talent to fill those tech positions,” Sinclair said. “But now more talent has come to the area, particularly from Silicon Valley, so the tech-talent gap is shrinking.”

The number of Silicon Valley residents seeking homes in the Emerald City quadrupled between 2011 and 2015, according to Redfin, the Seattle-based online real estate brokerage.

Photo Illustration by GeekWIre. Images via Shutterstock.
Photo Illustration by GeekWIre. Images via Shutterstock.

Some Seattle employers are even actively recruiting talent from the Bay Area to fill jobs here, knowing that tech workers are willing to move, based on the economics.

Redfin found that a whopping 25 percent of Silicon Valley residents are looking to relocate because they can no longer afford the prices in the Bay Area. Relative to pay, Seattle prices look better.

However, things might not always look so much nicer in the Emerald City. That’s because Redfin data also shows that the price of housing in Seattle has gone up over the last five years, and there are fewer available houses every year. More than half of all people, including tech workers who were polled specifically, believe they will not be able to afford the city in the next decade. There might be an exodus from the Bay Area to Seattle for now, but as the cost of living in Seattle gets more expensive, that may not be the case in the future.

Incidentally, health-care jobs openings are increasing as a percentage of all job openings in Seattle. Maybe we’ll be seeing an exodus of Bay Area nurses next.


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