How We Selected the Job Hot Spots

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 Dice.com and Monster.com for geographic areas. For August, the top tech metro areas, based on jobs posted on Dice.com, 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 Monster.com 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 Dice.com 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 (www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/home.htm). 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.