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One in five new tech jobs is based in Seattle

Between 2005 and 2017, high tech industries (like software, pharma, aerospace, and semiconductors) created 256K jobs in the United States. Seattle accounted for 56K of these jobs, which means 22% (1 in 5) of all new tech jobs were created in Seattle.


During this period, Amazon grew from fewer than 5K local employees to 48K, so not only were 22% of all new tech jobs in the US created in Seattle, 17% of all new tech jobs were created at Amazon, in Seattle. Microsoft, which added 10K+ employees, accounts for most of the remainder.


Tech is all about “winner-take-all” businesses, so this isn’t a huge surprise, but it’s interesting to think about these jobs as a regional R&D investment. Assuming these 56K jobs pay an average of $200K, that’s $11B+ per year going into the local innovation economy. While there are plenty of articles about “the next Silicon Valley,” it’s going to be really difficult for any other city to catch up to the Bay Area or Seattle’s level of investment in tech.


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