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CBRE released its Scoring Canadian Tech Talent report for 2020 this week. The rankings show that the growth of the tech industry continues from coast to coast even during this challenging year, with much of that growth taking place in Canada’s mid-sized centres.
Nationwide, the number of Tech Talent workers has increased 22.5% over the past five years, adding 165,300 jobs to the Canadian economy. Job growth in the tech industry outpaces the country’s average job growth rate by more than three times, demonstrating how important tech will be to the recovery of the overall economy.
Toronto remained Canada’s top Tech Talent market in the ranking. Of those 165,300 tech jobs added nationwide, 66,900, or 40% of them, are located in Toronto. To put that into perspective: it would take 10 million sq. ft. of office space to accommodate all of these workers, enough to fully occupy the 9 million sq. ft. of office space currently under construction in Toronto’s downtown core.
Ottawa held on to the No. 2 position in the Tech Talent ranking. The nation’s capital has the highest concentration of tech workers among all North American cities – 11.3% of its labour force works in the tech industry. The second highest, at 10.5%,, is the San Francisco Bay Area, which encompasses Silicon Valley.
Vancouver rounds out the Top 3. With 84,900 people employed in the tech industry, the city has a deep labour pool of high-quality workers. Between 2014 and 2018 there was a 37.6% increase in the number of tech degrees earned at Vancouver’s post-secondary institutions.
Waterloo Region continues to punch above its weight when it comes to Tech Talent. The Region is one of Canada’s fastest-growing Tech Talent markets, with a 51.4% increase in the number of tech jobs over the past five years. Both foreign and domestic tech companies have been flocking to this tech hub.
In Atlantic Canada, Halifax saw the greatest upward movement in the Tech Talent ranking, jumping three positions to break into the Top 10 this year. With 11.9% growth in its tech labour pool over the last five years, Halifax, ranked No. 8, is attracting startups and tech accelerators at a steady rate. It is also one of the most affordable cities, along with Moncton, which held on to the No. 20 position.
This year’s ranking demonstrates that Tech Talent growth has not been confined to Canada’s largest cities. From Victoria, No. 7, to St. John’s, No. 17, the expansion of Tech Talent in markets across the country points to Canada’s maturing tech ecosystem.
“Tech drives everything so it’s great to see our major markets do well. But it is also encouraging to see tech talent pools growing in smaller cities,” said CBRE Canada Vice Chairman Paul Morassutti. “The more areas that are plugged into, and benefit from, the economy of tomorrow the better.”