St. Louis has seen the biggest year-over-year growth in technology jobs and according to Dice.com, ranks as the fastest-growing city for technology jobs in the country. About 5 years ago, St. Louis set out to attract companies with our inexpensive (that’s in the eye of the beholder) utilities and excellent IT infrastructure, particularly our fiber network. Fortune magazine indicated we saw a one year growth of 25% in IT jobs in 2012 as well as a 13% rise in salaries in this sector. A top executive at Digital Realty Trust, an IT real estate company in San Francisco, was quoted as saying, “St. Louis is a very important market for us because it is such a desirable location for data centers.” To say that this development is encouraging for our region would be an understatement.
With the big boys like Monsanto making a big time financial commitment to the St. Louis area by hiring 675 people and making a $400 million investment to upgrade it’s Chesterfield research facility, it signals great things for the city of St. Louis. With the rising wages and the amount of new jobs this boom is creating, the local economy has improved and figures to keep improving in years to come. One reason for this is due to the region’s lower cost of living. This attracts smart younger people with good jobs who are flocking to downtown to live among the hustle and bustle. With that comes development and re-development. According to Mayor Francis Slay, the city of St. Louis has seen over 130 new restaurants and retail stores open since the boom first started.
What does this mean for the IT consumers? Well, first and foremost, you’re going to get the best quality service and experts the country has to offer. With new businesses forming seemingly every day here, competition goes up and firms are forced to maintain higher standards of service and talent. The higher level of competition should also drive prices down so the budget will become a little more flexible. Overall, this has been great for all of St. Louis and the surrounding suburbs. Whether directly or indirectly we are all impacted by this in a positive way. The addition of an ultra-modern high-tech economy has breathed new life into a city that has long been an economic powerhouse.
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