Toronto, ON

Toronto Moves Up to #3 Spot in CBRE’s 2022 Tech Talent Rankings, Creates Most Jobs in North America Over Last 5 Years

July 14, 2022

2022 CBRE Scoring Tech Talent

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Canada’s biggest city added 88,900 tech jobs between 2016 and 2021. Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary also have strong showings in CBRE’s annual ranking

Toronto moved up to the #3 spot in CBRE’s new Scoring Tech Talent report, boasting the most tech employment growth between 2016 and 2021 of the 50 North American markets covered, with 88,900 jobs added. Vancouver jumped three spots in the ranking to take #8, adding 44,460 jobs in that same five-year period, or 63% growth, the highest percentage of all 50 ranked markets.

Ottawa, with the highest concentration of tech talent on the continent – 11.6% of the city’s total employment force – took #13 in the tech talent ranking, while Montreal moved up a spot to #15. Waterloo Region (#24), Calgary (#28), Edmonton (#35) and Quebec City (#39) also made repeat appearances in the Top 50.

North American tech talent bounced back from the pandemic to post job gains across most top markets in 2021, though the industry’s resilience will be tested again amid economic turmoil in 2022, according to the Scoring Tech Talent report. Meanwhile, the tech industry has embraced remote work as a new way to expand; nearly a quarter of all tech job listings now are for remote positions.

Tech talent is defined as 20 key tech professions – such as software engineers and systems and data managers – across all industries. CBRE’s annual Scoring Tech Talent report ranks the top 75 tech markets in the U.S. and Canada and outlines the industry’s job-growth trends amid economic shifts and increased remote hiring.

The analysis of top North American tech talent markets found the same top five markets from last year: In order, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Toronto, Washington, D.C., and New York City. Much of the rest of the top 50 shifted as factors such as tech labour-pool size and growth and the local tech-industry outlook, among others, shuffled many spots.

Top 10 Tech Talent Markets

Rank Market Index Score
1 San Francisco Bay Area 85.52
2 Seattle 79.39
3 Toronto 68.93
4 Washington, D.C. 67.88
5 New York Metro 67.08
6 Austin 65.19
7 Boston 62.38
8 Vancouver 62.19
9 Dallas/Fort Worth 58.57
10 Denver 57.53


“Canadian markets continue to be among North America’s top-performing destinations for tech talent, with 11 cities well-positioned in the latest CBRE rankings. It’s a testament to the impressive momentum this sector has been gathering over the past five years,” says CBRE Vice Chairman Paul Morassutti. “Though the industry faces some very real, short-term cyclical challenges, our longer-term thesis remains unchanged: the technology sector will continue to drive outsized growth as our knowledge-based economy expands.”

CBRE’s Scoring Tech Talent report, now in its 10th year, ranks the top 50 North American markets by analyzing 13 measures of their ability to attract and develop tech talent, including tech graduation rates, tech-job concentration, tech labor pool size, labour and real estate costs.

CBRE also ranks the Next 25 emerging tech markets on a narrower set of criteria. Halifax (#9), London (#10) and Winnipeg (#12) made repeat appearances on this list, with London seeing 99% growth, or a doubling of its total tech employment between 2016 and 2021.

Growth within tech talent professions and industries was widespread in 2021. The industries that added the largest total (gross) of tech talent in Canada were the tech sector (47,000 jobs), public administration (17,000) and professional services category (15,800). The tech talent professions that added the most jobs overall in Canada were software developers (54,300 jobs) and computer support workers (18,700).

“Tech talent and the broader technology industry have time and again proven resilient amid economic cycles,” said Colin Yasukochi, Executive Director of CBRE’s Tech Insights Center in San Francisco. “We’ve seen in the past that, when the tech industry retrenches, companies tend to eliminate support jobs in favour of retaining their tech talent. Meanwhile, North American tech markets continue to produce innovations that draw customer demand. And now increased remote hiring can spread tech talent job growth across all markets.”

To download the full CBRE Scoring Tech Talent Report report, click here.

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