The economic benefits tech jobs bring are being concentrated in several cities in the United States, said a report by The Brookings Institution and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
Boston, San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego, and Seattle are the five metro areas accounting for 90 percent of all growth in the tech sector. Furthermore, one-third of the United States’ innovation jobs, defined as those in science, engineering, technology, and math fields, reside in only 16 counties.
These top five metro areas draw investment money and educated people from many other places. Close to 40 percent of adults have bachelor’s degrees in these cities, compared with 26 percent elsewhere. According to the Brookings report, these five areas enjoy the benefits of what economists call cumulative causation. This is when areas attract talented workers, investments, and startups, and create a lure toward the critical innovation sectors, and in the meantime, drain key talent and business activity away from other regions.
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There are downfalls to innovation cities: Traffic, high housing costs, and increased wage growth so high that small firms cannot compete. The differences between innovation cities and those experiencing declines show the very nature of how tech divides. Companies in the tech field need a lot of workers and other tech companies to support them. Over time, these regions have the needed infrastructure, public transit, high quality of living, and broadband for continued innovation.
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