Economy Watch: Bay Area a Top Market for Tech Talent

5898c CBRE Tech Talent 0717 Economy Watch: Bay Area a Top Market for Tech Talent
Courtesy of CBRE Scoring Tech Talent report, 2017

There are 4.9 million tech workers in the U.S. and 776,000 in Canada, accounting for 3.5 percent and 5.1 percent of total workers in each country, respectively, according to a recent CBRE report. This relatively small labor force has an outsized impact on North American real estate markets and the two national economies—and it’s growing. The number of tech talent workers has increased by 27 percent in the past five years, adding more than 1 million jobs to the U.S. economy at a pace more than three times the national average.

The report asserts that tech talent workers comprise 20 different occupations, including: software developers and programmers; computer support, database and systems; technology- and engineering-related; and computer and information system managers. These positions are highly concentrated within the services industry but are not limited to any one type of company or industry sector. Using this definition, a software developer who works for a logistics company is included in CBRE’s data.

Top 50 Tech Markets

The report, Scoring Tech Talent, is an analysis of labor market conditions for, as well as cost and quality of, highly skilled tech workers in the U.S. and Canada. The 50 largest markets were ranked according to their competitive advantages and appeal to tech employers and tech talent. The analysis also provides information about the quality of tech talent, their demographics and how tech talent growth patterns are impacting cities and real estate markets.

The report ranked the top three tech talent markets as the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and New York. Compared with the previous year, the Bay Area maintained its top score, while Seattle and New York each moved up one spot to second and third, while Washington, D.C. slipped to fourth. Supported by strong tech-centric universities, Atlanta rose four spots to fifth and Toronto rose six spots to sixth. Other large changes came from Denver and Newark—both rose six spots to 12th and 13th, respectively.

To make the rankings, CBRE analyzed 50 of the largest markets by number of tech talent professionals in the U.S. and Canada. The ranking uses 13 metrics to measure each market’s depth, vitality and attractiveness to companies seeking tech talent and to tech workers seeking employment.

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