St. Louis is the fastest-growing tech job market

Only a few areas in the country are regarded as powerhouses of tech jobs. Silicon Valley, for instance, is nearly synonymous with technology, and thus employment in the discipline. However, the technology boom has had far-reaching effects across the nation, turning cities that were not commonly associated with tech talent into hubs for high-tech activity. Expanding businesses in fast-growing tech markets can benefit from working with technical recruiters to find the best available talent in their area.

Gateway to the West a booming tech market
According to recent research compiled by online job board website Dice, St. Louis is home to the fastest-growing technology jobs market in the United States. Dice said tech job postings in the St. Louis area to-date grew 25 percent year-over-year from the same time last year. Some of the most popular job advertisements sought workers for positions such as developers, programmers and consultants.

Charlotte placed second, with year-over-year tech job gains of 22 percent. Dice noted the increase in Charlotte-area tech jobs is especially promising, as the city's tech employment market already grew 6 percent during 2012, spurred in large part by startups in the cleantech sector. Austin (16 percent rise), Phoenix (13 percent increase) and Detroit (10 percent growth) rounded out the top five.

Tom Silver, senior vice president at Dice, said the employment boom was driven by several factors and is continuously redefining what constitutes a hot technology job market.

"The fastest-growing cities in the country when it comes to technology jobs … may have been unexpected in the past," Silver said. "But with communities coming together to support startups, court large employers and fund STEM [science, technology, engineering, mathematics] education initiatives – no one should be surprised that 'traditional tech centers' needs a new definition."

Chicago recruiters worrying over the Windy City's place among the top high-tech employment economies need not sweat the rise of Midwest competitors like St. Louis and Detroit. Chicago still placed fourth in the top 10 tech metro areas behind New York, Washington, D.C., Maryland and Silicon Valley, but was the only city on the list to experience positive year-over-year growth in tech job postings.

Talent is always highly sought after, but with the rapidly expanding market for tech expertise, employment searches are becoming increasingly competitive.Firms can work with technical recruiters to improve talent search efforts.