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Tech is divergent

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Brandon Gaither
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The hope of tech-industry optimists for what former AOL chief and Revolution LLC founder Steve Case calls “the rise of the rest” — the spread of tech into the heartland — has gotten more urgent.

However, there’s a problem here: A quick look at recent data from Brookings on tech-sector employment does not license a ton of optimism for any widespread knitting of the country back together through the location dynamics of tech.

Taken together, these dynamic digital industries generated more than half of the country’s high-quality new “advanced industries” jobs between 2013 and 2015.

Far from the Bay Area lie exciting hot spots in regular America.

Given these developments, the digital services sector represents the heart of the U.S. tech boom, with its promise of stimulating more and more inland towns with cool and good-paying new jobs with long multipliers.

In this regard, what is striking is not just that a whopping 46 percent of all U.S. digital services jobs cluster in just 10 of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas (ranging from New York and Washington to San Francisco and San Jose to Boston, Seattle and Atlanta) — even more striking is the fact that only a handful of metropolitan areas have significantly increased their share of the nations’ digital services jobs since 2010.

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Brandon Gaither
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