Seattle wins the top spot for long-term, broad-based technology growth, reports Forbes. Based on a ranking system developed by the Praxis Strategy Group, Forbes considered employment growth in two sectors — high-tech companies (software, data processing, Internet publishing) and industries connected to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The numbers were tallied over the last two years as well as the past decade for the 51 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S.
Surprisingly, the Emerald City beat out Silicon Valley and the other 49 areas with these high notes:
- 12% tech job growth over the past two years
- 7.6% STEM growth over the past two years
- 43% increase in tech employment over the decade
- 17% expansion in STEM jobs over the decade
The presence of tech-oriented companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing supports consistent growth in the Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellevue metro areas. GeekWire credits Amazon for playing a large role in the recent expansion. Over 9,400 employees have joined the Amazon labor force worldwide in the first quarter of 2012, and 1,000 open positions were recently announced for Seattle alone. Additionally, Bay area firms like Facebook and Google continue to establish sister campuses in the Seattle metro market.