An analysis of United States job listings shows AI jobs are growing rapidly outside traditional tech hubs.
What’s new: Researchers at University of Maryland analyzed the distribution of AI jobs among U.S. job postings. California hosts the largest concentration, followed by the Washington D.C. metropolitan area (which includes more than one state).
How it works: The authors used an unspecified large language model to identify AI jobs, which they define as ones that require AI skills. They categorized each job by the U.S. state in which it was located. To determine whether a given state’s AI economy was growing or shrinking, they calculated the percentage of total U.S. AI jobs in each state in 2018 and 2023. They also calculated the percentage of each state’s total jobs that required AI skills for both dates.
- California continues to post the most U.S. AI jobs. However, California’s share of AI jobs dipped from 26 percent in 2018 to 19 percent in 2023. Still, 1.07 percent of postings in California are AI jobs, well above the national average of 0.56 percent.
- Similarly, the share of AI jobs in the state of Washington, home to Amazon and Microsoft, declined from 13 percent in 2018 to 5 percent in 2023. However, more than 1 percent of Washington postings are AI jobs.
- The combined share of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C. — the U.S. capital region — rose from 7 percent in 2018 to 13 percent in 2023. The authors attributed this growth to the federal government’s embrace of AI: Companies that supply the government have responded by hiring AI experts.
- New York’s and New Jersey’s combined share of AI jobs declined from approximately 12 percent in 2018 to 11 percent in 2023.
- Meanwhile, other parts of the U.S. saw meaningful growth. Texas’ share of AI jobs grew from 6 percent of AI jobs in 2018 to over 8 percent in 2023. Florida’s share rose from 2 to 4 percent in the same time period. The combined share of 12 Midwestern states grew from 10 percent to 13 percent. However, these regions posted much smaller percentages of AI jobs relative to total jobs.
Behind the news: A 2021 Brookings report on U.S. AI jobs focused on metropolitan areas and analyzed not only job postings but also federal grants, research papers, patent filings, and companies. Despite the differences in methodology, it agreed with the new report that investment was driving AI growth outside of the Bay Area. The new report suggests a much wider geographical distribution of AI jobs in 2024 than in 2021. It appears some of the then-emerging industrial investment in AI is bearing fruit.
Why it matters: For people who aim to make a career in AI, this report contains double good news: (i) Established AI hubs in the U.S. still host the most new openings and (ii) AI jobs are growing far and wide! As the industry becomes more dispersed geographically, AI builders have more options, organizations can select from a more diverse talent pool, and the technology’s benefits can be shared more broadly.
We’re thinking: Although this report focused on the U.S., we believe that growth in AI jobs is a global trend. One contributor is growing acceptance of remote work (which remains more prevalent than it was a few years ago despite its decline as the Covid pandemic has wanted). This means more AI opportunities for everyone, everywhere!