Main image of article Dice Q1 Tech Job Report: Cities and States with Growing Opportunities

The ramp-up of the U.S. vaccine rollout and the prospect of a return to some level of normalcy resulted in a surge in technologist hiring in the first quarter, with cities large and small across the country brimming with opportunities for skilled tech professionals. Dice’s first Tech Job Report of 2021 showcases the hubs with that saw big boosts in hiring in the first quarter, as well as the cities whose longer-term growth trajectory continued to begin the year.  

From coast to coast, cities large and small are brimming with job opportunities for technologists with all kinds of skill sets.  

Atlanta, which has long positioned itself as the Silicon Valley of the South, improved its rank by two places to second place – outpacing both Chicago and San Francisco. The top hiring organizations in the city, which is trying to position itself as the Silicon Valley of the South, include Deloitte, IBM, Home Depot and Microsoft. Other tech companies are also expanding their footprint in the city. For example, Google is building out office space and plans on hiring an undetermined number of new employees, while Apple will invest $25 million in a learning center and business incubator. These investments suggest that the tech industry believes Atlanta will only continue to grow in the quarters and years to come.   

Seattle made a significant leap in its hiring during the quarter, improving its rank by seven places. In Q1, Seattle’s hiring was led primarily by Amazon, with Facebook, Salesforce, Deloitte and Accenture also hiring at high rates. Amazon’s profits surged in 2020, thanks in large part to the continued success of AWS, which powers a substantial portion of the country’s cloud infrastructure; the company is clearly intent on investing a substantial portion of that money into the talent that will allow it to fend off existing and emerging competitors in a variety of industries. Be sure to check out the full Q1 Tech Job Report [link] to see our quarterly Tech Hub Highlight, featuring Seattle. 

In Texas, Austin and Dallas continued to drive the state’s hiring momentum, with both improving year-over-year hiring ranks by one place. In Austin, the top hiring organizations include VMware, Dell, Apple and Facebook. Meanwhile, in Dallas, the top hiring organizations include Deloitte, IBM, Accenture and Goldman Sachs. Lower taxes and operating costs have drawn companies to Texas from established tech hubs, leading to increased demand for tech talent (and, somewhat ironically, increasing the cost of living for technologists who moved there for cheaper real estate).

When comparing February to March, Richmond led U.S. cities with 68 percent growth in job postings. In Richmond, the top hiring organizations include CarMax, Facebook and Capital One. Redmond increased job postings by 29 percent growth between February and March with employers such as Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and SpaceX posting a significant number of job postings in March.  

While it has not historically been known as a technology hub, Salt Lake City has begun to attract technologists who are migrating from larger tech hubs with higher costs of living; this creates a virtuous cycle, as a rising number of technologists draws in companies that have a need for talent and are ready to hire. Tech giants such as Adobe and eBay have established sizable outposts in the city, in addition to various home-grown startups. Salt Lake City saw an increase of 33 percent in job postings from February to March, with Cerner, Goldman Sachs and Ernst & Young all creating a significant number of job postings. 

States Enjoy a Surge in Optimistic Hiring 

The top hiring states in Q1 were all home to either established or emerging tech hubs. California easily topped the list with 146,000 job postings. In California, the cities with the most hiring activity (by job posting volume) included San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose. The state’s technology strongholds of Silicon Valley and Southern California maintain a thriving ecosystem of cloud-centric companies who profited enormously from increased reliance on their products during the pandemic. Those tech giants, in turn, are using this momentum to hire thousands of technologists with a variety of skills, in states far beyond California.  

As noted, Texas has long positioned itself to tech organizations as a less expensive, tax-advantaged alternative to California. That seems to have paid off, with a number of prominent tech companies deciding to migrate major facilities to the Lone Star State, including Oracle (which moved its headquarters to Austin), Hewlett-Packard, and Tesla. That migration helped strengthen Austin’s tech ecosystem (and hiring) throughout 2020, encouraging more startups and smaller companies to call the city home. In Q1, hiring was led by Austin, Dallas, Houston and Plano (a Dallas suburb). 

Georgia and Washington improved their ranks by two places and three places, respectively. Georgia, which also experienced 15 percent growth between February and March, had the most hiring activity in Atlanta, Alpharetta and Augusta. Meanwhile, Washington’s hiring activity was driven by Seattle, Bellevue and Redmond, home to tech giants such as Amazon and Microsoft who did well in 2020 and are looking to invest heavily in key areas throughout 2021 and beyond.   

Comparing March to February shows significant growth in Utah (26 percent), Wisconsin (26 percent) and Georgia (27 percent). Ohio experienced the most growth with a 28 percent, with Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland leading the hiring activity. For many years, the state has made a concerted effort to draw tech hiring and funding, with initiatives such as Ohio Third Frontier, a multi-billion-dollar startup investment program. These programs often take years to pay dividends, but something seems to be working, with companies such as IBM and Facebook all opening offices and data centers in the state. 

No matter where you live, Dice’s latest Job Report makes it clear that employers everywhere are on the hunt for experienced technologists with a wide range of skills. Download Dice’s latest Job Report for more key hiring insights that can help you efficiently plot your next career move.