Thank you, Michael Dell and the University of Texas at Austin.
That's what technology workers in and around Dell Inc.'s headquarters in the Austin suburb of Round Rock, Texas, should be saying today after looking at the latest employment numbers for the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.
Employment in the Austin/RoundRock/San Marcos region was up 2.5 percent in August, compared to the same month a year ago, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Labor. That was the best year-over-year performance of the largest 34 metropolitan divisions tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That kind of job growth, when the U.S. economy as a whole is struggling to create jobs, is due in part to the technology startup hotbed that the Austin area has become.
Dell was the first to create a large technology company there, after he left UT-Austin, where he began by selling white-label personal computers, with his name on them, out of his dorm room.
That kind of entrepreneurial spirit lives on in Austin, home to a top-tier state university, and just north in Round Rock, where Dell is the largest employer, with 9,000 workers, according to the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce.
Dell has spawned an ecosystem of people with technology related sales and engineering talent, who in turn are founding startup companies.
Several people whom we've spoken to during the last few weeks, people who get paid to find top-level executive talent at technology startups, have said that the Austin area ranks right alongside New York, and the San Francisco-Silicon Valley corridor, as the most active places for startup hiring.
"It's pretty active down there; they have a lot of interesting (tech) companies," said Jeff Markowitz, an executive recruiter in the Silicon Valley office of Heidrick & Struggles. "More than ever people are willing to go where the best opportunities are," said Markowitz, who's been a recruiter for 12 years.
Not So Happy Valley
Meanwhile, employment in the largest area for technology workers, the San Francisco-Silicon Valley region, showed a mixed picture.
In the San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara metropolitan division, according to the BLS, the overall unemployment rate dropped to 11.2 percent in August, from 11.8 percent a year earlier. But due to a quirk in the numbers (they're not seasonally adjusted) the number of employed workers held steady at 909,000. That area includes huge tech employers such as Cisco System Inc., Oracle Corp., Intel Corp. and Google Inc.
The San Francisco/San Mateo/Redwood City area immediately north of Silicon Valley lost 18,000 jobs, and employment there stood at 911,000 workers in August, continuing a trend of falling employment. Although the area is home to hundreds of fast-growing, fast-hiring startups such as Twitter Inc. and Groupon, total employment there has dropped 2 percent over the past year.
Gotham Stays Flat
Employment in the greater New York metropolitan area was statistically flat. The 17,000 jobs lost from the previous August represented one-tenth of one percent of the total workforce of 8.5 million people.
The unemployment rate for all areas in the U.S. was 9.5 percent in August, little changed from 9.6 percent a year earlier, the BLS reported.
Write to John Shinal