Moving Talent and Tech Hubs: Goodbye Coastal Superstar, Hello Rising Sunbelt Cities

Talent is exploring beyond the coastal superstar tech cities and setting down in rising tech hubs such as Atlanta, Miami, St. Louis, Kansas City, Austin and Dallas, all of which experienced growth in their share of tech jobs over the last few years. Post-pandemic, cities with the strongest tech influence saw a slow-down in their growth rates. These findings conveyed that job creations were noticed more in college towns, warmer cities and even vacation centers, with places such as Virginia Beach where tech jobs rose by 9% , Durham, North Carolina (5%) and Madison, Wisconsin (6%).

The amount of tech jobs posted in these cities suggested that geography isn’t primarily a leading factor in the job search. Other factors such as cost of living, proximity to family and friends and recreational opportunities are emerging as true deciding factors. Workers are attracted to places where they can afford luxuries that aren’t always realistic options for them on the East and West Coast. One head of marketing at an architectural software company says that when he moved from California to Florida, he was able to be with his in-laws, drive to see his father and afford a house ultimately improving his quality of life. Or take Featurespace’s head of customer success who moved to Georgia because she wanted “a walkable city with a great atmosphere and restaurants.”

Reason behind the move for tech hubs? Remote Work 

These stories highlight what people are looking for and demonstrate how remote work makes it possible. According to Mark Muro, a Brookings senior researcher, the more the tech job growth was reported in smaller cities, the more it correlated with remote work. People are now able to focus on these new factors because the connectivity of the internet allows them to. Additionally, these rising tech hubs are improving their communities in a variety of ways as well.

  1. Creating jobs: With the surplus of people, technology industries are slowly decentralizing by boosting local economies and reducing unemployment.
  2. Increasing Investments: Rising tech hubs are attracting investments from venture capitalist and private equity firms that create new business opportunities. A prime example of this trend is top tech companies, such as Oracle Corp, Meta Platforms Inc.’s’ Facebook, and Tesla, moving headquarters to Austin, Texas.
  3. Developing Talent: Tech hubs are investing in the education and training of talent in order to continue supporting their growing tech industries.
  4. Community Development: Telework enables more tech professionals to engage in their communities by contributing to schools and their local politics rather than living in silos that isolate them.

Legal Liabilities in Rising Tech Hubs 

Remote work doesn’t only impact employees and communities but also their employers. With workers moving out of their employer’s physical office, employers are left to manage local employment laws, workers compensation insurance and unemployment insurance obligation according to multi-state rules. This can cause various legal liabilities where the repercussions can be costly and consuming.

According to a BakerHostetler attorney, Michael Semes, “employees working from home in a state different from their assigned office can subject the employer to sales tax, income tax and in some cases local or city gross taxes that they weren’t subjected to before.” Therefore, it is critical for employers to keep up to date with their employees’ location and familiarize themselves with the tax laws and requirements where their staff is working.

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At Matlen Silver, it doesn’t matter where the employee/employer working environment is located. Our expert team understands how to manage multi-state workers and their organizations. Plus, with our customized end-to-end IT and customer-centric service driven solutions, we will always provide what we do best: build a successful technology solution, a workforce and a career wherever you are!

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