Largest tech talent hubs in the US and Canada
The tech workforce continues to grow. In fact, there is now an estimate 6.5 million tech workers between the US and Canada: 5.5 million of whom work in the United States.
This infographic is based on a CBRE report to determine which tech talent markets in the US and Canada are the largest. The data looks at the total workforce in the sector, as well as the change in the tech worker population over time in various cities.
The report also ranks which metro areas and regions can rightly be considered tech hubs first, by looking at a variety of factors including cost of living, average educational level, and tech employment levels as part of different industries.
The best tech hubs in the US
Silicon Valley in California’s Bay Area remains the most prominent (and expensive) tech hub in the US, with a talent pool of nearly 380,000 tech workers.
Here’s a look at the top tech talent markets in the country in terms of total workforce population:
|🇺🇸 Market||Total Tech Talent||Talent Growth % (2016-2021)|
|San Francisco Bay Area||378,870||13%|
|new york subway||344,520||3%|
|Salt Lake City||55,930||29%|
America’s big coastal cities still contain the most tech talent, but midsize tech hubs like Salt Lake City, Portland and Denver have posted strong growth numbers in recent years. Seattle, which is home to both Amazon and Microsoft, has posted an impressive 32% growth rate in the last five years.
Emerging tech hubs include areas like Raleigh-Durham. The two cities have nearly 70,000 employed tech workers and a strong pipeline of talent, with degree completions in fields like Math/Statistics and Computer Engineering up 28% year-over-year through 2020. In fact, the entire state of North Carolina is becoming an increasingly attractive business center.
Houston was the only city on this list that had a negative growth rate of -2%.
The main technological centers of Canada
Tech giants like Google, Meta and Amazon are continually and aggressively increasing their presence in Canada, further cementing the country’s status as the next big destination for tech talent. Here are the four tech hubs in the country with a total workforce population of more than 50,000:
|🇨🇦 Market||Total Tech Talent||Talent Growth % (2016-2021)|
Toronto saw the absolute fastest growing tech jobs in 2021, adding 88,900 jobs. The tech sector in Canada’s largest city has seen a huge boost in recent years, and is now ranked by CBRE as the No. 3 tech hub in North America, after the SF Bay Area and the city from New York.
Vancouver’s tech talent population grew the most from its original figure, up 63%. Seattle-based companies like Microsoft and Amazon have established major offices in the city, adding to the already thriving tech scene. In addition, Google is set to build a high-speed fiber optic submarine cable connecting Canada to Asia, with a terminal in Vancouver.
Not to be outdone, Ottawa has also taken giant strides to grow its tech talent and make a name for itself. The nation’s capital even has the highest concentration of tech jobs in its workforce, thanks in part to the success of Shopify.
The small but well-known tech hub of Waterloo also had a very high concentration of tech jobs (9.6%). The region has seen its tech workforce grow by 8% in the last five years.
Six of the top 10 cities for tech workforce concentration are in Canada.
Evolution of technology centers
The post-COVID era has seen a changing definition of what a tech hub means. It’s clear that remote work is here to stay, and as workers migrate for affordability and convenience, traditional tech hubs are seeing a decline, or at least slower growth, in their tech worker population.
While there is no apparent mass exodus of tech talent from traditional waterfront hubs, the rise of high-paying tech jobs in smaller markets across the country could signal a trend and is a positive for the industry.
While more highly talented, resourced, and educated workers continue to opt for affordable places to live and work remotely, will newer markets like Charlotte, Tennessee, and Calgary see a rise of tech companies, or large corporations and new companies will continue? opt for the larger cities on the coast?
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