Connection Point: DFW High-Tech Pros’ Buying Power Double Those Working in Peer Cities

Dave Moore, Staff Writer

Over the past four-plus years, the Dallas Region has added as many high-tech workers to the local economy as the total population of Bangor, Maine. Nearly 30,000 high-tech jobs were created in Dallas-Fort Worth between 2015 and 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That ranks the region the fifth fastest-growing high-tech jobs creator in the nation.

While DFW job growth is impressive in its own right, what those numbers don’t describe is the buying power workers experience in the Dallas Region compared to the top four tech job creators – San Francisco, New York, Boston, and Seattle.

Rank Region 2015 High-Tech Jobs 2019 High-Tech Jobs 2015-19 Change Cost of Living COL Housing only Sample Housing Cost
1 San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA 226,962 269,363 42,401 201.7 371.7 $1,132,245
2 New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 456,866 488,651 31,785 242.5 506.9 $1,544,082
3 Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH 228,852 259,922 31,070 151.2 223.2 $679,896
4 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 202,501 232,287 29,786 156.1 218.3 $664,970
5 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 214,685 244,390 29,705 106.2 114.9 $350,000

For instance, the cost of living in Dallas is half that of the Bay Area; it’s nearly 60 percent cheaper to live in Dallas than NYC. Housing costs sharpen the picture. A $350,000 home in the Dallas Region will cost $1.1 million and $1.5 million in San Francisco and New York City, respectively.

That explains the ranking below.

Earlier in 2019, CompTIA (the nonprofit Computing Technology Association) ranked the Dallas Region fourth among 20 U.S. metros as a destination that high-tech professionals would most-likely want to put down roots.

The primary consideration for the nearly 1,000 high-tech pros surveyed (both millennials and Gen Z alike): cost of living.

“Tech workers are willing and ready to move for the right job, especially if it’s to an area with low cost of living, desirable climate, and shorter commute times,” CompTIA writes.