The Wall Street Journal’s Emily Meehan wrote a fantastic piece this week on young people moving to San Francisco only to be disallusioned by the lack of move-worthy job opportunities. In “Are you going to (stay in) San Francisco?”, she wrote:
“San Francisco has long appealed to twentysomethings who want an urban lifestyle without the sprawl of Los Angeles, the cold of Chicago or the hectic competition of New York City. In the 1960s, aspiring hippies flocked to Haight Ashbury. Between 1995 and 2000, it was the second most popular metro area, after New York, for young, single, college-educated people to move to.”
But the burst of the dot com bubble (and rebirth, depending on who you ask) saw the departure of more than 50,000 people in their 20s and 30s. Those who have come since often complain that the city has fewer job opportunities than they would have expected, and more of them involve high school summer-style work than positions to start a career with.
A good friend of mine was eager to move to the City by the Bay and figured that good work wouldn’t be hard to come by between her double major from a prestigious school with a good reputation and years of internship experience. She searched for months before making the move and barely got responses to her resume. Although I think she would have loved San Francisco, she ended up moving to New York when she was scooped by a little place called Random House.
Most people I know in the city either had a job offer when they came out or had family in the area. While there seems to be constand demand for uber-qualified people in some fields, people whose skills fall outside the tech industry seem hard pressed to find first jobs in SF (not to mention second jobs when they’re even more qualified). It makes you wonder how long you’d be able to last living jobless in SF amid people who are able to spend weekday afternoons ambling in Dolores Park.