Washington, D.C., Has More Tech-Job Openings Than Silicon Valley Tech companies are shedding workers, but banks, retailers and others want more


The hottest job markets for software developers and programmers now are thousands of miles from San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

Washington, D.C., and New York have more job openings for software developers than those California markets do, as nontechnology companies load up on engineering talent while startups and tech behemoths cut back

There were 2,369 software-engineering job postings in the San Francisco metro area and 2,084 around San Jose, Calif., which includes Silicon Valley, at the end of last year. Some 3,815 jobs were posted in the Washington, D.C., region and 3,325 in the New York metro area at that time, according to an analysis of listings by Vertis AI Inc., a workplace-data company. 

Job postings for software engineers in both San Francisco and San Jose reached a peak in the first half of 2022 and have declined substantially since, according to Vertis. 

Rashi Srivastava worked at an analytics firm until last month and is job hunting.


Tech companies cut more than 150,000 jobs last year, with many layoffs happening in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, home to Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. Tech recruiters are now urging workers to consider jobs in other industries—such as banks, telecommunications firms, and retailers. They say those firms can offer career growth and security, even if there aren’t stock options or Valley-style perks such as cold brew on tap at the office.

“Those companies exist in New York, they exist in D.C., they exist in the secondary tech hubs,” said Patrick McAdams, chief executive of staffing and recruiting company Andiamo Consulting LLC. “Certainly startups are going to be able to compete, but startups aren’t going to be able to offer candidates that stability.” 

Rashi Srivastava, 27, saw many software-engineering positions in the Bay Area when job hunting last year as she pursued her master’s degree in software engineering. Eventually, she took a job with social-media analytics firm Dataminr Inc. in New York. 

She said she was laid off in January and is looking for a job again. This time, she said the roles matching her criteria seem increasingly to be based in smaller cities or in New York, not San Francisco or Seattle.

Ms. Srivastava would prefer to stay in New York, though her priority is to land at a company that will sponsor her visa. 

“I like it here,” she said. “It’s hard now, because it feels like whenever I get a new job, I don’t know where that will be.”

Sam Hocking, Vertis’s co-founder, said that positions around the nation’s capital for software engineers outnumbered those in every other metro area that Vertis analyzed. (Vertis analyzed employment data collected by Lightcast, a labor-market analytics company.)

Mr. Hocking attributes some of the demand on the East Coast to financial institutions wanting to hire their own technology talent, instead of contracting it out, as well as major corporations’ expansion to Washington, D.C.

“Companies are realizing they need to have more of this capability in-house,” he said.


Will the East Coast become the new hub for U.S. tech jobs? Why or why not? Join the conversation below.

Handshake, a job site for entry-level workers, has tracked similar trends. The firm’s data show that nontech industries such as government, construction and finance posted more software- and computer-engineering jobs in 2022 than the year prior, even as there were fewer such jobs across the board. A survey of laid-off tech workers conducted by Andiamo found twice as many technology workers moving to New York from San Francisco than there were those leaving New York for other regions.

Pay for software jobs is highest in San Francisco and San Jose, though Los Angeles and New York show high pay, too, according to an analysis by Motion Recruitment Partners LLC. Cities with lower pay include Charlotte, N.C., and Philadelphia.

Some companies are building East Coast hubs after many workers left the Bay Area during the pandemic. 

At Austin, Texas-based software company Kizen Technologies Inc., many San Francisco workers moved far outside the city in recent years, turned off by housing costs, wildfires and high levels of homelessness, said John Winner, the company’s CEO. 

Jeff Martin found a software-engineering position that allowed him to work remotely on the East Coast.


The company has no plans to reopen the San Francisco office, he said, while leaders plan to reopen the New York office—at employees’ request—later this year.

“A lot of people believe that New York is more fun than San Francisco,” he said. Kizen employs four engineers in New York, seven in Austin, three near Los Angeles, two working remotely elsewhere in the country, and 10 in other countries. 

Palantir Technologies Inc., the software company co-founded by Peter Thiel, has expanded East Coast hiring in recent years as its commercial and government business grew, said Margaret York, head of talent acquisition. 

The company has about 750 engineers in New York, 400 in Washington, D.C., and 200 in Palo Alto, Calif., Ms. York said. For some positions, workers can choose among offices, and young people are selecting East Coast locations, she added.

“These are vibrant, magnetic places to make your career, if you’re a young person, or if you’re an adult, building your family,” she said.

Last year, Jeff Martin, 35, applied mostly to companies that he had never heard of before—rather than tech giants—as he sought a job as a software engineer. He wanted to stay near Washington, D.C., where his family lives and where he and his wife had recently bought their first house. Their daughter was born there in May.

In January, he started a software-engineering position at Vistar Media Inc., which provides advertising technology. Most of the firm’s engineering talent is based in Philadelphia, he said, and he is working remotely.

“The vast majority of places I applied to were not the usual suspects in the tech industry,” he said. “It seemed like companies who you wouldn’t think of as tech companies were hiring tech talent.”

Write to Lindsay Ellis at lindsay.ellis@wsj.com and Kailyn Rhone at kailyn.rhone@wsj.com

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