How We Selected the Job Hot Spots

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2002-11-11 Print this article Print

To select the three U.S. regions featured in eWeek's IT job hot-spots package, we took into account a variety of data and mixed it with economic and industry insights from experts.

To select the three U.S. regions featured in eWeeks IT job hot-spots package, we took into account a variety of data and mixed it with economic and industry insights from experts.

The first set of data we looked at was the volume of IT-oriented jobs posted on online job boards and for geographic areas. For August, the top tech metro areas, based on jobs posted on, were Silicon Valley, Calif., (6,009); New York (4,731); Los Angeles (2,648); Washington (1,985); and Philadelphia (1,464). For September, they were: Silicon Valley (5,199), New York (4,594), Los Angeles (2,480), Washington (2,004) and Philadelphia (1,388). For last month, they were New York (4,429), Silicon Valley (3,901), Los Angeles (2,438), Washington (1,936) and Philadelphia (1,382).

We also looked at top locations for IT and software job postings on as of Oct. 24, which were, from most jobs to least: 1. New York; 2. Los Angeles; 3. Chicago; 4. Boston; 5. Dallas; 6. Washington; 7. northern New Jersey; 8. Seattle; 9. Philadelphia; 10. Atlanta; 11. Orange County, Calif.; 12. central New Jersey; 13. St. Louis; 14. Baltimore; 15. Silicon Valley/San Jose, Calif.; 16. Detroit.

Note that we gave listings greater weight, as they covered a three-month period, in contrast to Monster.coms one-day snapshot.

We then looked at the non-technology-specific data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics News Service in its monthly report on Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment ( Here we found data that bolstered the case for choosing Southern California and Washington/northern Virginia as areas having healthy job markets: The lowest jobless rates consistently turned up in these regions, with the Washington/Maryland/ Virginia/West Virginia region having an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent for July and August and 3.5 percent for September.

However, BLS data contradicted the pro-Silicon Valley data gleaned from the job boards: San Jose, although generating lots of online job postings, had the largest month-to-month unemployment rate increase in the country (3.2 percent as of June) and consistently had the highest unemployment rate (7.6 percent for July and August). We combined that data with input from Silicon Valley IT recruiters to arrive at the decision to knock this region off the list.

Finally, we looked at regions diversity of industries. And we looked specifically for areas with high concentrations of growth industries such as biomedical, defense, finance, real estate and insurance. This cemented the ranking of New Yorks Capital Region.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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