Apr 18, 2024 - News

Mapped: NWA potential hotspot for AI jobs

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

Northwest Arkansas is among the country's AI job hot spots, a new analysis finds.

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

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

  • The researchers are using AI language models to sift through LinkUp listings for AI jobs — defined as positions that require technical skills to either create or use AI models.
  • Such use of AI significantly enhances their accuracy when compared to traditional keyword filtering, the researchers say.

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.

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

Between the lines: The defense industry's urgent interest in AI is likely driving D.C.'s numbers, says Anil Gupta, a UMD professor who's co-leading the project.

The bottom line: Much of America's AI workforce is concentrated in Silicon Valley, although other areas are emerging as strong second-tier contenders.

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