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Fastest-growing area for tech jobs is... Detroit?

Fastest-growing area for tech jobs is... Detroit?

Posting in Cities

The number of technology job openings has doubled over the past year in the Detroit metropolitan area, leading all other North American cities.

Plenty has been said and written about Detroit's death spiral -- in these pages, we even talked about a proposal to plow under a portion of the city to rejuvenate it as farmland.

But the latest job-opening stats from Dice.com tell an interesting story about another rejuvenation taking place across southeast Michigan -- a surge in technology job openings.  Dice.com, which is currently tracking about 75,000 available tech and IT jobs nationwide, said as of this month, Detroit is leading all other areas in growth in demand for technology professionals from a year ago.

Just the other day, SmartPlanet's Andrew Nusca provided perspective on Chrysler's SuperBowl ad promoting its Detroit roots, and the city's resurgence. SmartPlanet colleague Tyler Falk also makes the case, however, that cities such as Detroit need more community oriented livability to thrive once again.

As Dice senior VP Tom Silver puts it in his report:

"Detroit tops the list with more than 800 available tech positions on any given day – that's double the number posted last year. Let's extend those two minutes of Detroit super bowl advertising goodness, by highlighting that technology professionals make on average $71,445 per year in the Motor City, up two percent from a year ago."

In fact, Midwestern cities lead the list of this month's tech job growth areas -- a reflection of a resurgent economy that is lifting the region's traditional manufacturing base.  Of course, it can be argued that Detroit and many other cities in the region were in bad shape economically a year ago, so any growth at all is going to be significant.  But the Detroit area also has its share of determined visionaries who seek to create a sustainable entrepreneurial climate, with new types of businesses to replace its auto industry base.

The fastest-growing metro areas for technology job openings include the following, in terms of year-over-year growth since February 2010:

  • Detroit          101%
  • Cincinnati        75%
  • Cleveland        62%
  • Columbus       57%
  • Seattle             54%
  • Pittsburgh       45%
  • Miami              43%
  • Jacksonville     41%
  • Chicago           40%
  • Silicon Valley   40%

In total volume, the top areas for job openings are the Washington, DC area with 8,500 tech jobs available, followed by New York/New Jersey (8,400) and finally, Silicon Valley (4,750).

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Joe McKendrick

Contributing Editor

Joe McKendrick is an independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. He is a co-author of the SOA Manifesto and has written for Forbes, ZDNet and Database Trends & Applications. He holds a degree from Temple University. He is based in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure