California Tops U.S. in AI Job Interest & Business AI Implementation

  • California, home of Silicon Valley, is the state most interested in AI jobs and using AI in business. Washington and Vermont round out the top three for AI career interest.
  • The US averages 14.6 searches for AI career per 100,000 people

Amid the recent explosion of technologies leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and significant investments in the field of generative AI, a new study has identified the US states most interested in AI jobs and the willingness of businesses within these states to adopt AI technologies for future growth, with California placing first.

 In this study commissioned by intelligent enterprise solutions provider SAP, we looked at Google search data for terms such as ‘Artificial intelligence careers,’ ‘AI internship’ and ‘Machine learning jobs’ to gauge public interest in AI-related careers across states. They then used data from The Business Trends and Outlook Survey, which surveys businesses in each state on their economic measures and expectations for future conditions, including AI usage, to determine how ready companies in each state are for AI adoption.

 The data shows that California is the state most interested in AI jobs and AI business adoption, The Golden State shows an unmatched interest in AI careers with an average monthly Google search volume per 100,000 citizens of 16.60, with searches for ‘open ai jobs’ and ‘machine learning jobs’ being some of the most searched for.

This state, home to Silicon Valley and renowned as a global tech hub, shows a significant interest in AI and related fields, with 6.3% of California’s businesses saying that they currently utilize AI technologies to produce goods and services and a further 8.4% planning to implement AI in the next six months, a figure that is 85% higher than the national average.

Washington places second with 16.59 of every 100,000 residents searching for jobs in AI, with terms like ‘jobs in AI’ and ‘AI jobs’ receiving the most monthly searches. Washington is home to Microsoft, which develops and supports AI systems with ChatGPT creator Open AI. 

 With the advancements in AI, it may soon become more accessible than ever to land an AI job in the state. Especially with Microsoft’s AI for Good initiative, in which they undertake projects relating to environmental sustainability, healthcare, accessibility, and education.

 On top of this, when asked, 5.9% of businesses surveyed in The Evergreen State said they had used AI in the past two weeks to produce goods and services, and 7.4% said that they plan to incorporate it in the next six months. Washington places above the national average in both areas.

 Vermont comes in third, where for every 100,000 people in the Green Mountain State, there are 15.84 monthly searches for jobs in AI. The most sought-after positions include ‘open AI jobs’ and ‘machine learning jobs.’ Significantly, Vermont was a pioneer in addressing the challenges and opportunities of AI by forming a dedicated task force. This group is focused on offering guidance for the state’s ethical and strategic AI development.

 When surveyed, 14.1% of Vermont business owners were still undecided on whether they would consider using AI to produce goods and services in their business in the next six months, and an estimated 2.5% said they planned to.

 Securing fourth is Massachusetts with 15.33 searches per 100,000 residents relating to AI jobs, with the highest number of searches for ‘AI jobs’ and ‘artificial intelligence careers.’ The most frequent queries are for ‘AI jobs’ and ‘artificial intelligence careers.’ Given its status as home to MIT, a global leader in technology and innovation, it’s no surprise that Massachusetts ranks highly in AI job-related searches. 

 Regarding AI adoption, 5.6% of Massachusetts business owners reported using AI in their operations to create goods and services in the past two weeks, with another 8.9% planning to do so within six months. This reflects a 25% increase from the state’s previous average and stands 41% above the national average, indicating a robust inclination towards integrating AI in business practices.

 Maryland rounds off the fifth position with 14.56 Google searches per 100,000 residents, focusing on ‘ai engineer positions’ and ‘machine learning jobs.’ Additionally, 5.6% of Maryland businesses reported using AI within the past two weeks while producing goods and services, with 8.9% planning to integrate AI within six months, 41% above the national business average. This state also stands out for regulating AI in hiring, requiring employer transparency and job seeker consent, highlighting its commitment to ethical AI use.

The states searching for AI jobs the most
Rank State Monthly search volume per 100k (average) Total monthly searches
1 California 16.6 6477.5
2 Washington 16.59 1291.67
3 Vermont 15.84 102.5
4 Massachusetts 15.33 1070
5 Maryland 14.56 897.5
6 Virginia 14.54 1262.5
7 New York 14.47 2847.5
8 Delaware 14.07 143.33
9 Colorado 14.06 820.83
10 New Jersey 13.71 1270
US Average 14.6 1068.43

 Virginia ranks sixth and New York comes in seventh, with 14.54 and 14.47 searches per 100,000 respectively. 7.4% of Virginia and 4.4% of New York business owners said they would incorporate AI while producing goods and services within the next six months.

 Placing eighth is Delaware and ninth is Colorado, with 14.07 and 14.06 AI job-related searches per 100,000 citizens, respectively. Delaware and Colorado have more businesses planning to use AI over the next six months than the average state surveyed, with Delaware beating the average by 79% and Colorado beating it by 40%.

 New Jersey completes the top ten with 13.71 out of 100,000 people living in the state searching for information relating to AI jobs. 3.1% of business owners in The Garden State said they had used AI to produce goods and services in the past two weeks, and 4.3% planned to start using it in the next six months.

Business AI usage in the previous two-week period:
State Previous two weeks – Business owners that used AI (Percent) Previous two weeks – Business owners that didn’t use AI (Percent) Previous two weeks – Business owners unsure if they used AI (Percent)
California 6.3 81.1 12.6
Washington 5.9 84.9 9.3
Vermont S* 92 S*
Massachusetts 5.6 84.5 9.9
Maryland 5.5 83.9 10.6
Virginia 4.5 84.8 10.8
New York 3.7 82.3 14
Delaware S* 84.8 9.7
Colorado 6.3 85.2 8.5
New Jersey 3.1 83.3 13.6
U.S. Average 4.55 86.44 9.92


Business AI usage planned in the next six-month period:
State Upcoming six months – Business owners planning to use AI (Percent) Upcoming six months – Business owners not planning to use AI (Percent) Upcoming six months – Business owners unsure about using AI (Percent)
California 8.4 66.4 25.2
Washington 7.4 74.8 17.8
Vermont S* 83.4 14.1
Massachusetts 8.9 70.6 20.5
Maryland 7.2 70.1 22.7
Virginia 7.4 69 23.6
New York 4.4 70.4 25.2
Delaware 11.3 68.9 19.9
Colorado 8.8 71.7 19.6
New Jersey 4.3 69 26.6
US Average 6.3 72.78 21.48

The study reveals a robust interest in AI across the US, with significant variations in how states and their businesses plan to embrace these technologies. The findings underscore the need for a strategic approach to AI education and implementation, ensuring that the workforce’s interest in AI translates into meaningful adoption within the business sector, ultimately driving innovation and economic growth across diverse industries.

Of the ten states most interested in AI jobs, only six have the highest number of businesses planning to implement AI with machine learning, natural language processing, virtual agents, or voice recognition in their business in the next six months.

 Explore HRtech News for the latest Tech Trends in Human Resources Technology