The Buffalo-Niagara region and upstate New York have missed the tech boom.
Tech jobs have long been concentrated in hotbeds like Silicon Valley, Boston, and Washington, D.C., but a new study from Brookings finds that digital services jobs are starting to spread to other metropolitan areas. I understand.
“Just before the pandemic recession, a ‘winner takes most’ dynamic was in place,” the report said. “But now that pattern may be changing. Here for the first time in more than a decade, digital activity appears to be expanding.”
But that’s not the case with Buffalo Niagara. The region is home to just 0.2% of the nation’s jobs in major industries, from software development and computer system design to web publishing.
That’s because, even though the technology industry has recently expanded beyond metropolitan areas, it remains highly concentrated. Brookings said 60% of artificial intelligence jobs are located in just 20 of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas.
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“The decline of the social media bubble, rising interest rates, and a new focus on ‘efficiency’ have combined to limit the supersizing of Big Tech headquarters and allow regional growth to play a proportionately larger role.” ” states the report.
A new wave of private investment in semiconductor and electronics manufacturing, including Micron’s chip factory planned near Syracuse, also helped.
“Many of these investments will attract other regional investments in employment-intensive ancillary industries such as computer systems design,” the report states. And that’s exactly what a joint bid by Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse for a national “tech hub” is intended to leverage.