Apr 18, 2024 - News

Boston outpaced by other AI hotspots, analysis finds

New AI jobs posted per 100k people, Q1 2024
Data: UMD-LinkUp AIMaps; Note: "AI job" defined as a job requiring technical skills to build and/or use AI models. A bigger circle indicates more new jobs per capita. Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The home of MIT and Harvard isn't becoming one of the country's AI job hotspots, a new analysis finds — and some metro areas competing with Boston are eating our tech sector lunch.

Why it matters: As AI emerges as the hottest new thing in tech, cities outside Silicon Valley have a chance to get in on the action — and reap the potentially lucrative economic rewards.

Zoom in: San Jose (142.4 new AI jobs listed per 100,000 residents), Seattle (74.4) and San Francisco (49.3) led the way in the first quarter of 2024 among cities with at least 500,000 residents and 25 newly posted jobs.

  • In those cities, AI jobs accounted for about 7.5%, 4% and 3.2% of all new Q1 job listings, respectively.
  • For comparison, there were 11.7 AI-related jobs posted for every 100,000 residents nationally in Q1.

State of play: The Boston area produced just 17.8 new AI jobs per 100,000 residents in Q1, accounting for only 1.42% of new positions.

How it works: The estimates come via UMD-LinkUp, a collaboration between the University of Maryland, job listings platform LinkUp and consultancy/executive firm Outrigger Group.

  • The researchers are using AI language models to sift through LinkUp job listings for AI jobs, defined as those that require technical skills to either create or use AI models.

Yes, but: Austin (39.9), Washington, D.C. (35.3) and Northwest Arkansas (24.7) also had strong showings, as did Raleigh (19.7) and Atlanta (19).

The bottom line: While much of America's AI workforce is concentrated in Silicon Valley, other areas — notably Texas and the Washington, D.C. metro — are emerging as strong second-tier contenders.

  • Massachusetts has a long way to go make AI a key pillar of its tech portfolio.
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