Data show tech workers moving to Miami — and fleeing San Francisco — during pandemic

Some see the shift lasting well beyond the pandemic.

The buzz has been building for months that South Florida is building itself into an American tech hub. New data from LinkedIn reveal some numbers to support that narrative.

Kim Hart of Axios broke down the stats, which show the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area with a year-to-year increase of more than 15% in the number of tech workers, based on locations listed in LinkedIn users’ profiles. That was the biggest net gain of any major city Axios analyzed.

While the Axios article grouped the greater Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, Miami has been the major winner, with Fort Lauderdale still looking to capitalize on the economic migration seen over the past year. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has been actively recruiting companies and tech CEOs to consider making Miami their permanent home.

The piece looked at data from February 2020 — just before the pandemic’s outset in the United States — through this March. Houston placed second with a more than 10% bump, followed by the Dallas-Fort Worth area at 8.6% and Philadelphia at 8.1%.

San Francisco, meanwhile, saw a nearly 35% decline year-over-year in tech workers, according to the Axios analysis. While Silicon Valley remains a major tech haven, the past year of remote working allowed employees to move more freely. Attracted by the lower taxes in Florida and Texas, tech workers not only follow entire companies that relocate but also move even if the company keeps its Silicon Valley headquarters.

"Issues we used to think of as secondary, like quality of life, are increasingly primary," Julie Samuels, CEO of Tech: NYC, told Axios. "We’re seeing that drive the dynamic around the tech sector nationwide."

And AOL co-founder Steve Case said the shift might last beyond the COVID-19 outbreak.

"I clearly see momentum building, and it’s hard for me to imagine that the pandemic won’t be a permanent accelerant of people moving to places that have been historically overlooked," Case said.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]