Main image of article Which Tech Hubs Have the Highest Layoff Anxiety?

Which cities are suffering the most from generalized layoff anxiety? And how many of them are tech hubs?

To determine the answers to those questions, SmartAsset recently analyzed Google Trends data for 94 metro areas across the U.S., focusing on six words: “layoffs,” “severance pay,” “recession,” “downsizing,” “furlough,” and “unemployment benefits.” That offers some insight into what people in those areas are searching for online; based on the data, here are the top cities with layoff anxiety (in descending order):

Is it accurate to use Google Trends data versus, say, a poll? That’s an excellent methodology question. Google has insisted for years that its trends data provides an accurate look into what’s on folks’ minds—it even built Google Flu Trends (GFT), a service that used Google Trends to track the spread of influenza in multiple countries. However, not everyone searches for a particular term because it has a personal impact on their lives; they could input “layoffs” or “flu symptoms” as part of a school research project, for example.

With all that in mind, this “anxiety list” is particularly interesting because it’s dominated by some of the country’s largest tech hubs, including Silicon Valley, Seattle, and Austin, as well as some up-and-coming tech hubs like Houston and Los Angeles. These cities have also experienced massive tech layoffs over the past few months; in Silicon Valley, for example, Google and Meta are just two of the tech giants slashing thousands of jobs.

Despite that anxiety, it’s key to keep in mind that, according to the latest CompTIA analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the tech unemployment rate fell to 1.5 percent in January. Between December and January, tech job postings jumped in a number of tech hubs, including Atlanta (up 2,941 postings), New York City (up 2,935), Dallas (up 1,788), Houston (up 1,156), Austin (up 1,086), Tampa (up 1,049) and Washington (up 1,009). 

The layoffs at some of the world’s biggest tech companies generated a lot of headlines and news reports, but organizations across multiple industries still need tech professionals for a wide variety of roles. It’s okay to feel anxious about the economy and your own job; but if you keep your skills up-to-date, you’ll prove more than capable of handling whatever might come your way.