The San Francisco Bay Area is recovering workers after a pandemic exodus

It’s no surprise that people are still moving to Austin, Texas. Even more surprising, people are also moving to San Francisco.

Over the past 12 months, San Francisco has seen the second largest increase in workers of any region in the United States, according to LinkedIn. January data, which measures when people update their location on their profile, showed that for every 100,000 LinkedIn users, 83 have moved to San Francisco in the last 12 months. workers greatly came from Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Washington, D.C.

Where people move to – and leave – has huge ramifications for the financial success of those cities and for the industries that can thrive there. Telecommuting held the promise that high-paying jobs could spread from coastal super-cities like New York and San Francisco to affordable and economically struggling Heartlands. To some extent, This happenedbut new data from LinkedIn shows that the appeal of big cities can remain strong, even those hit hard by the pandemic.

The data represents a significant shift in demographic trends for San Francisco, which has not seen net gains noted in LinkedIn data Since 2017. The San Francisco metropolitan area experienced some of the largest population declines from 2020 to 2021, losing more than 125,000 residents, According to the latest available census data.

One reason for the decline has been the lack of affordable housing, which means that even tech workers with six-figure salaries You can’t live there. When the pandemic hit, the large concentration of people working remote tech-friendly jobs in the Bay Area caused many to leave in search of cheaper, greener pastures. Other reasons for leaving may include: high rates of homelessness And income inequality facing area, Although it is also likely that reports urban hell In San Francisco that might be overrated.

In fact, more people are now coming to San Francisco than leaving. By the end of last year, there were roughly two people coming into the D.C. area for every person who left (LinkedIn hasn’t been able to provide a net change in area members since the start of the pandemic). Austin still beats the area, with rates still relatively cheaper and where there’s no income tax, but that’s been the case for years now.

Why do people move to San Francisco? In a sense, it’s a question of the continued popularity of popular cities. This means that people can still find value and jobs there. The Bay Area is culturally rich, with people – and culture and food – from all over the world. While tech companies have cut back on hiring recently, the region remains the home base for their giant and lucrative businesses, which means there are still plenty of opportunities for workers.

There is reason to believe that people don’t come back to San Francisco just because they want to. The decline also marks the entrenchment of remote working policies, with many companies taking the side of hybrid work, where people are still expected to be in the office for some time. In other words, people who might have wanted to move somewhere else permanently were forced back into the Bay Area, albeit perhaps in different locations than they were.

The decision to return to the Bay Area may also come from employees hoping to spend time with their bosses in the face of a potential downturn. Studies have shown that bosses look better at people who work in offices Consider them for promotion.

Even then, some people seem to go to the office for a while. Offices in San Francisco and surrounding areas have some of the lowest office occupancy rates in the country, according to data from Castel, which provides swipe cards for building access to companies across the country and thus has visibility when people go to the office. During the week of Dec. 29 to Jan. 4, office occupancy was about 20 percent of pre-pandemic levels there, while the national average was 33 percent.

Instead of leaving the cities, many people have moved to more suburban areas, where home rents are more affordable. They may still have to commute to the office, but a longer commute doesn’t seem so bad if they only have to do it a few days a week. On average, office workers are expected to continue to work from home an average of 2.3 days per week, according to Dec survey From Employers’ Post-Pandemic Plans by WFH Research.

LinkedIn data, of course, only includes people who update their profiles, so it’s limited in scope to professionals who keep up-to-date on their LinkedIn profiles. The reversal in the population decline has not yet been seen in other data sources, but late data from the US Postal Service shows that far fewer people are leaving the San Francisco Bay Area than was the case earlier in the pandemic. The number of people leaving San Francisco based on the number of change of address forms filed in the city has fallen to 12,000 last year, down from about 48,000 in 2020 and 18,000 in 2021, according to change of address data from the US Postal Service collected by Riordan Frost, Senior Research Analyst at Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

“It’s fair to say that there is some recovery happening in terms of people moving there,” Frost told Recode.

California as a whole saw more people leave the state than enter it in 2022, with a shortfall of 343,000 people, but that’s down from about 500,000 people who left in 2021. Countywide census data for 2022 will be released in March, but so far there is Vision only until 2021.

Perhaps all of this represents a natural compromise, as people try to find a better quality of life and better opportunities. For many, it might be once again Be in the suburbs outside of the big cities.

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