IBM, Paypal, Dell, Samsung, Apple: Northwest Austin—especially along Parmer Lane from SH 45 to MoPac and from I-35 to Dessau Road—is often described as a tech corridor.
Industry giants have long chosen to anchor tech campuses in the area, and a highly educated workforce has followed. In fact Northwest Austin is home to the most tech employees in the city, according to data from real estate firm CBRE.
As more people with advanced degrees move in, tech companies continue introducing jobs in the area.
Apple announced on Dec. 13 plans to invest $1 billion in a campus at the corner of McNeil and Parmer—its second hub in about a one-mile radius.
The decision to build two campuses in the same area of northwest Austin was intentional—Apple chose the location with their employees in mind, representatives for the tech company said during a Dec. 13 news conference.
Who lives in Northwest Austin?
A look at four ZIP codes in the northwest part of Austin indicates a highly educated workforce living nearby the tech corridor.
About 87 percent of United States residents have a high school diploma, according to the 2013-2017 American Community Survey. That percentage is roughly the same—89 percent—for Austin residents citywide. However, nearly 100 percent of Northwest Austin residents completed high school or attained a higher degree.
Similarly around 1 in 3 U.S. adults has a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the survey. The city of Austin averages about 49 percent, and for Northwest Austin residents, that number soars to nearly 60 percent.
Impacts on Northwest Austin
Apple currently employs 7,000 people at its Americas Operations Center campus. The new campus could add anywhere from 5,000-15,000 new jobs to the area.
“Initially there’s certainly a psychological impact, especially in terms of the business and real estate communities, in Austin’s storied past now as a growing technology hub,” said Eldon Rude, principal of 360 Real Estate Analytics, an Austin-based market research and consulting firm.
However, Rude said the jobs—and the influx of educated workers to fill the new roles—are likely years away. A more immediate impact of Apple’s expansion could be construction workers needed to build the facility. In a tight labor market for both the commercial and residential sector it will be difficult to find employees to build these facilities, he said. The construction workers will need to live somewhere, either commuting to the Northwest Austin area or finding housing nearby.
Top-ranked tech markets
In July, CBRE released its annual top-ranked tech markets, which evaluates U.S. cities using factors such as the number of residents with tech degrees, job growth in the tech field, wages and more. This year the real estate group named Austin No. 6 nationwide.
Austin has maintained a position as a top 10 market for tech jobs in North America in recent years. In the last five years Austin added 12,000 tech workers to the metro area, according to CBRE’s data.
Additional reporting by Emma Freer