The 5 Best Cities to Hire Web Developers

Published on Mar 23, 2020

Updated on Nov 3, 2022

Written by Emsi Burning Glass

The 5 Best Cities to Hire Web Developers

If you’re looking to hire a web developer in 2020, you’ve got your work cut out for you. 

Web developers are in high demand these days. In fact, according to Emsi data, companies have posted over 527,000 unique job postings for web developers since January 2019. Plus, web developer jobs have increased nearly 7% in the last five years and are projected to increase another 8% by 2025. 

Since web developers are such a hot commodity, we came up with a list of the five best cities to hire web developers.


  1. Los Angeles

  2. Seattle

  3. Chicago

  4. Boston

  5. Minneapolis




Read on to learn how we defined “best,” why New York City and San Francisco are not on the list, and for more on each of the top five cities.

View the Top 50 best cities to hire Web Developers.


1. Los Angeles

Los Angeles is No. 1 with over 7,000 web developers working in the area, and a steady pattern of growth in the last five years. 

The turnover rate in LA is high with over 3,200 separations in 2019. So, not only do you have a large supply of talent to choose from, but you’ll also likely have a lot of web developers looking for a new job. 

And if diversity is a priority in your hiring strategy, LA has you covered. It blows the other best cities out of the water when it comes to diversity with more than 2,200 female web developers and over 3,600 non-white web developers.

2. Seattle

It’s not surprising that Seattle, the tech hub home to the likes of Microsoft and Amazon, is also home to a lot of web developers—over 5,300, to be exact. The talent in Seattle is also diverse, with more than 1,500 female web developers and nearly 2,000 non-white developers.

Between the plentiful and diverse talent supply, lower demand (aka unique job postings), high cost of living, and high turnover, Seattle would be a great place to recruit web developers.


3. Chicago

While the Windy City has seen minimal job growth in the last five years, it has a solid supply of web developer talent (4,300+) with plenty of diversity. 

Demand is also high in Chicago, second only to LA. Companies posted over 16,000 unique job postings for web developers in 2019 with a posting intensity of 4.83. So if you’re looking to hire talent from Chicago, you may face some stiff competition.

Luckily, the turnover rate is fairly high. So while you have competition, you also have more talent that’s potentially looking to move.


4. Boston

A burgeoning tech and start-up hub, Boston has plenty of web developer talent with over 3,700 developers. And if you’re looking to hire female web developers, Boston would be a good place to start. 

The median advertised salary in Boston is the highest of our top five cities at $109,000. So, if you’re wanting to hire Boston talent to work in an area with a lower cost of living (like Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, or Chicago), you’ll definitely want to play that up. 

For example, a web developer in Boston with a salary of $103,000 actually only has $77,400 worth of buying power due to cost of living. Meanwhile, in Atlanta, a web developer’s salary of $100,000 yields $104,000 of buying power. 


5. Minneapolis

While Minneapolis has a notable talent supply of 2,300 web developers, it’s seen the least amount of recent job growth of our top five cities. It’s also less diverse than our other top cities. But it still has a respectable number of female web developers (700+ in 2019).

If you’re looking for a cost-effective place to recruit web developers, with less competition from other companies, Minneapolis is your city. Minneapolis ties Seattle for the lowest median advertised salary in our top five at $94,464. So, chances are you won’t have to spend as much to get great talent.

How we determined the five best cities to hire web developers

Since we’re a labor analytics company, we set up eight parameters to define what “best” means in terms of actual data. 

  1. Total employment: This gives us the total supply, or number of web developers, in an MSA (metropolitan statistical area) in 2019. 

  2. 2014-2019 job growth: This shows us how many new web developer jobs have been added in an MSA since 2014. 

  3. Unique job postings: This shows us the demand for web developers in an MSA. A higher number of postings means higher demand.

  4. Posting intensity: Posting intensity shows us how difficult it is to hire in an MSA. The higher the number, the harder it is. For example, New York City and San Francisco have high posting intensities, which is why they’re not on our list.

  5. Median advertised salary: This gives us an idea what employers in an MSA are paying web developers.

  6. Turnover: We determine an MSA’s turnover by the number of web developer separations. A high number of separations indicates there might be a lot of web developers interested in a new job. 

  7. Female employment: This shows us how many female web developers are in an MSA.

  8. Non-white employment: Similar to the previous point, this one shows us how many non-white web developers are working in an MSA.

(Note: We know that “web developer” means different things to different people. In this article, we’re using “web developer” as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)


Our methodology

After we pulled nearly 1,600 data points, we filtered out the following to narrow it down:

  • Cities where web developer jobs are in decline

  • Cities with fewer than 100 web developer jobs

  • Cities with a high posting intensity (4.95 or higher)

This left us with what we’d consider to be the 50 best cities to hire web developers from, given the health of the markets. Our list is ranked by total talent supply, but accounts for the other parameters.



If you’re looking to hire web developers, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and Minneapolis should be at the top of your list. You’ll save time and money by considering not only talent supply, but also job growth, demand, competition, compensation, turnover, and diversity. 


Want to see the full top 50 list? Fill out the form below to get access to the data, and we’ll walk you through the Emsi sources we used to pull it.