Economy Watch: Tech Employment in Long-Term Growth Mode

Strong employment growth in June included job creation in the tech sector. CBRE's latest report reveals which markets have the most tech talent.
San Francisco skyline at night
The San Francisco Bay area had the largest tech-talent job growth in the last five years, according to CBRE’s report.

The official BLS jobs report for June, published last week, was strong indeed, accompanied by private reports on aspects of the labor market that are also encouraging. For instance, CBRE Research recently published its third annual Scoring Tech Talent report, which details the tech labor market in the U.S. and Canada. The news is generally good.

By the company’s definition, “tech talent” accounts for only 3.5 percent of the total U.S. workforce, but CBRE also noted that the number of tech-talent workers has increased 27 percent over the past five years, adding more than 1 million jobs to the national economy—often high-paying ones—at a pace more than three times the national average of all other occupations.

The CBRE report noted that there are 4.8 million tech workers in four occupations: computer systems and support; software developers; tech engineers; and tech management. In terms of where these workers are located, the leaders for each category are Washington, D.C., for computer systems and support personnel, and the San Francisco Bay Area for the software developers, tech engineers and tech management. In the CBRE tech talent rating (on a 0 to 100 scale), San Francisco’s 84.62 top score was far greater than second-place Washington, at 67.24

San Francisco also enjoyed the largest tech-talent job growth in the past five years, at 61.5 percent, but the city also leads in business costs and rent increases. Tech-talent employers scrutinize talent and real estate costs to guide location decisions; the No. 2 most expensive place to run a tech business after San Francisco is New York, then Washington. The least expensive places are Oklahoma City, Toronto and Vancouver, B.C.