Tech sector powered Seattle during pandemic, but is the city losing its advantage?

Mar 17, 2022
Written by WR Communications

The Seattle metro area trailed only the Bay area in the growth of tech jobs from 2015 to 2019. A new Brooking Institution report reveals that many of the top tech industry cities experienced a decline in tech jobs. The report focused on tech job postings as the measure for job growth.

Fortunately, the Seattle metro area was one of the few exceptions, joining only Los Angeles and Austin, Texas as cities with growth in tech job postings. But is there a story that the report did not reveal?

In the 2010s, Seattle led the way in tech job growth in the metro area. However, the rapid growth of tech jobs in Bellevue and other East King County communities could signal a change in the industry’s outlook on Seattle. As Jon Talton of The Seattle Times wrote:

But the big post-pandemic question is whether the city can continue its prosperity despite rising crime, the aftermath of civil unrest in 2020, a largely shuttered downtown, and hostility from a majority of the City Council members.

Muro, a Brookings senior fellow and Seattle native, told me, “Remote and hybrid work may make it a bit easier for Seattle to power through, but ultimately the health of the region — anchored by its downtown vibrancy and diversity — is essential to maintaining momentum. If not this year, or next year, chaos and divides and dystopia likely will eventually harm the tech juggernaut.”