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'Work From Home' Gives Silicon Valley an Edge in Talent War

remote workers and families in Bentonville, Arkansas

Approximately 9% of employees at big tech companies in the Bay Area made permanent moves away from the region during the pandemic.

Credit: Craig Kauffman / The Wall Street Journal

The pandemic spurred leading tech companies to embrace "work from anywhere" policies. Now that a software engineer or marketing guru can work from a creekside cabin while still pulling down big bucks from Facebook or Salesforce, smaller firms far from the coasts are feeling the pinch.

Some of the biggest names in tech are also starting to hire in places they hadn't often recruited from before. That's leading to above-market rates for workers in smaller hubs, forcing local companies to raise wages to keep up with the cost of living and fend off deeper-pocketed rivals from California, Seattle, and New York.

The winners are turning out to be the workers themselves and the companies in coastal hubs who can pay less than a San Francisco salary but more than a local one, according to Mark Muro, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution.

In the short term, the democratization of tech jobs is broadening Silicon Valley's reach and influence, rather than diminishing it.

From The Wall Street Journal
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