Until recently, the best synopsis of the Seattle area’s economy, with its staggering increase in high-wage jobs and high-price homes, was provided by the economic theorists Lil Wayne and T-Pain:
You got young mula in the house, baby. Yeah. Young, young. Yeah. If you got money, and you know it, take it out your pocket and show it.
The Wayne & Pain analysis was largely anecdotal, but a recent Zillow report puts numbers to the theory that there are a lot of rich young folks in Seattle.
Looking at Census data, Zillow found that 3.9 percent of millennial households in Seattle earn more than $350,000 per year, placing it fifth in the nation. But here’s the kicker: While there might be more young mula in Arlington, Virginia (where 8.7 percent of millennial households earn $350,000-plus) and San Francisco (7.8 percent), housing prices are far more expensive in those cities than in Seattle. Thus, Puget Sound folks are better able to take money out their pockets and show it. They can throw it this-a-way toward expensive cocktails, and that-a-way toward those things called hoverboards that aren’t actually hoverboards.
So your suspicions have been confirmed — your new neighbor is younger than you, is richer than you, and can spend that money on frivolous things.
The rich-kid tide isn’t slowing
If there was any consolation for those sick of these rich young tech workers, it was that area companies were having a hard time finding enough folks to hire. But that appears to be changing. According to a report from jobs site Indeed, Seattle-area STEM openings have fallen from 23.7 percent in 2012 to 16.3 percent this year.
T-Mobile and YouTube make nice
When T-Mobile launched its Binge On service, which allows customers to stream on certain platforms without it counting against data limits, there was a notable absence of one of the most popular streaming services out there: YouTube.
At issue was video resolution. To preserve bandwidth, Binge On partners — which include Netflix and HBO — stream videos at a lower resolution, and YouTube was concerned that advertisement quality would fall, so it didn’t join the program. This was a major blow to T-Mobile, but it introduced a patch that allows streaming services to determine which videos stream at the lower resolutions that don’t count against data limits, and which ones show up in HD. This was all right with YouTube, but it remains to see if customers get duped by unknowingly streaming content they thought wouldn’t apply to data caps.
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