San Francisco Chronicle

Tech job postings slow, but other sectors worse off

- By Chase DiFelician­tonio

Tech hubs like the Bay Area have seen sluggish demand in some job postings, but that’s not because tech jobs aren’t coming back, according to data from online career site Company data shows that San Francisco, San Jose and six other U.S. tech hubs have lagged behind the rest of the country in the last year in terms of overall job postings on the site.

That’s not because of a massive exodus of tech jobs from traditiona­l hubs, but because other industries, like food service and retail, have seen fewer available jobs in those locations posted on the site.

The data suggests what has been suspected for months, that businesses relying on the

“There were fewer job postings by local businesses like restaurant­s and retail because more people were working from home.”

Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed

traffic of tech sector employees saw a decrease in business as tech companies closed their offices and allowed workers to telecommut­e from home. In the Bay Area, specifical­ly, the region’s stricter pandemic protocols could also have contribute­d to the decline in business.

“There were fewer job postings by local businesses like restaurant­s and retail because more people were working from home” in tech hubs like the Bay Area, said Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed.

Postings on Indeed show that technology­focused jobs that mentioned a location, like software developmen­t and informatio­n technology, remained mostly located in hubs including the Bay Area instead of moving toward other possibly more affordable metro areas.

“Tech job posting went down most everywhere in the

U.S.” during the pandemic, Kolko said, adding the decline in tech jobs in the country’s eight major tech hubs was less pronounced in terms of job postings than elsewhere in the country.

Service jobs like retail told a different story and pointed to a more uneven recovery in tech hubs where remote work is likely to have staying power.

Postings for retail jobs were down 16% in the largest tech hubs during roughly the last 12 months compared with the year prior. Those postings were flat during the same period when compared with other metro areas in the country. Demand for child care and food prep and service jobs also plummeted by more than 30% in the largest tech hubs in that period, while demand decreased but stayed comparativ­ely stronger on the site in the rest of the country.

Kolko said the mix of jobs in a given area before the pandemic and percentage of people able to work from home, as well as attitudes about the risk the coronaviru­s posed, likely factored into the types of jobs being posted on the site.

Statewide, jobs in the informatio­n sector have been a bright spot of the recovery, according to the California Employment Developmen­t Department, which shows the industry is down by more than 50,000 jobs in March compared with the same time last year. That is a speedier recovery than service industries like leisure and hospitalit­y, which state data shows have made gains in recent months but are still down more than a half million jobs compared with last year.

The Indeed data also found that while overall remote work increased and tech job postings offered remote work more than in other sectors, the share of tech jobs nationally that mentioned a location stayed about the same in the main tech hubs. Jobs in those areas were also less likely to mention remote work, while companies elsewhere in the U.S. took advantage of pandemicdr­iven remote work to expand their recruiting pool.

“If you’re looking to hire tech workers — developers, engineers, data scientists — you find more in tech hubs than elsewhere,” Kolko said. “That’s also why we see a higher share of tech job postings mentioning remote work outside of tech hubs.”

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