Nerd deflector

San Diego low in tech rating

NerdWallet, which puts together statistics on metro areas, in a study today (July 7) ranks San Diego 20th in a list of cities that are best for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) graduates.

Twentieth? San Diego should be higher if you look at some key figures. Average San Diego pay in these fields is $85,686. That's topped by only seven of the 20 cities. In the San Diego metro area, STEM jobs as a percentage of all occupations is 8.51 — topped by only seven metro areas.

But it's San Diego's high cost of living that drags down the area's total score. As a proxy for cost of living, NerdWallet uses median gross rent. San Diego's $1,253 is topped by only three other metro areas, thus dragging the county down to 20th on the list.

The winner? San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara. Who else? STEM jobs are 17.31 percent of all jobs. Although median gross rent is $1500 there, the average STEM wage is $111,746.

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I have to believe that California's excessive taxes and regulations didn't help San Diego's spot on that list. The Bay Area wins by default, not by worth. And the cost of living is even higher up there. We will see more and more of an exodus of jobs to other places. It starts slowly, and the symptoms are easy to poo-poo as "outliers" for years. But by the time it's apparent what's happening, far too much momentum has been gained, and it'll be too late to do anything about it.

jnojr: Taxes did not appear to be part of the survey. San Jose (Silicon Valley) was first, San Francisco fifth, Sacramento 15th and San Diego 20th.

Certainly, high taxes are sometimes a factor in business and individuals' decisions to locate. I just posted an item showing that California gets an F from The Economist magazine as a location for small business, and Texas gets an A+. Low taxes are a major factor in Texas's attempts to woo businesses to the state.

However, The Economist notes that "Research by Thumbtack, a website that matches customers to businesses, and the Kauffman Foundation, a think-tank, has shown how little local tax rates matter to small business owners." Best, Don Bauder

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