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Economics

San Francisco Tech Firms See Workers Flee From $4,500 Rents

  • Growth in technology jobs in the city slowed to 5% in February
  • Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles are seeing some gains
Residential property in San Francisco.

Residential property in San Francisco.

Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

When automation-software company executive David Nichols and his wife were preparing to start a family last year, he learned that the rent on his San Francisco office was set to jump 50 percent. So he picked up and moved to Portland, Oregon.

The technology-jobs boom that’s made San Francisco one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S. is starting to taper off as it becomes too pricey for the workers. That’s led some companies to open offices in places like Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles to draw in-demand software engineers who want a similar quality of life at a lower price.