Press Release

Toronto Rises to No. 3 in CBRE’s North American Tech Talent Ranking

16 Jul 2019

Toronto is North America’s fastest-growing tech market, edging out Washington, D.C. for third spot. Vancouver jumps to No. 12, and Montreal comes in at No. 13

Toronto is North America's No. 3 market for tech talent, coming in just behind the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle in CBRE's 2019 Scoring Tech Talent report. Toronto's pool of tech talent grew at the fastest pace of all 50 markets measured, adding an eye-popping 80,100 tech jobs in the past five years, a 54 per cent increase. Toronto nearly equaled the number of tech jobs created in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2013.

Other Canadian cities had a strong showing in the Tech Talent ranking. Vancouver rose 13 spots to come in at No. 12, which was the greatest year-over-year improvement of any North American market. Vancouver benefited from tech-centric post-secondary schools such as the BC Institute of Technology and University of British Columbia. Montreal ranked No. 13 and is also the most cost effective of all 50 tech markets. Ottawa rounds out the Canadian markets in the Tech Talent ranking, at No. 19.

"We hear about tech more and more, but in a thriving city like Toronto, the impact of tech companies and the growing influence of tech talent cannot be overstated. Tech job growth has a multiplier effect in the economy and the influence of tech is re-shaping virtually every sector of real estate," said CBRE Canada Vice Chairman Paul Morassutti. "Toronto, San Francisco and Seattle are comfortably mentioned in the same sentence and are attracting the best in the industry. Vancouver’s 42.6 per cent growth in tech jobs over the past five years puts it among the leading markets on the continent."

Competition for tech talent and affordability concerns in top tech markets have spurred hiring and tech industry expansion into smaller markets. Hamilton, Ont. and Waterloo Region are identified in the Tech Talent report as two of the fastest-growing "Opportunity Markets" in North America. Hamilton had a 52.1 per cent gain in the number tech jobs added over the past five years, while Waterloo Region had 40.4 per cent growth. "Opportunity Markets offer quality labour pools and affordability that supports rapid scalability," Morassutti said. "These markets can be ideal for small-scale operations, startups and tech jobs with non-tech employers like banks, media and services firms."

The top five markets in the Tech Talent ranking for 2019 are the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Toronto, Washington, D.C., and New York. CBRE's scorecard uses 13 unique metrics, including tech talent supply, growth, concentration, cost, completed tech degrees, industry outlook for tech job growth, and market outlook for office and apartment-rent cost growth.

Tech talent concentration, the percentage of a city's total employment represented by tech, is the metric weighted most heavily, as it signifies clustering of tech workers in an environment that’s conducive to innovation. Ottawa has 9.9 per cent tech labor concentration, second highest in the ranking, and more than double the concentration of most other cities included in the survey (4.80%). Toronto has 8.3 per cent tech labour concentration.

Graduates do not always remain in the labour market where they earn their degrees, and some cities experience a brain drain. Not so in the case of Toronto, which tops the Tech Talent ranking for its strength as a tech job creator, having added 57,634 more jobs than graduates between 2013 and 2018. This is greater than the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle. Vancouver is fifth for the pace of job creation and added 11,160 more tech talent jobs than graduates over the past five years.

"Canada's 832,900 tech workers, 5.3% of the nation's total workforce, have an outsize impact on real estate markets and the broader economy," noted Morassutti. "Tech talent workers are fueling innovation and adapting technology within the non-traditional sectors to increase productivity and strengthen the Canadian economy."

View the full report here. To view individual market statistics and ranking, including rankings on the Scorecard, access CBRE's Tech Talent Analyzer.

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