The biggest tech talent centers in the US and Canada
The technical workforce continues to grow. In fact, there is now an estimate 6.5 million Technology workers between the US and Canada – 5.5 million of them work in the US.
This infographic is based on a report by CBRE to identify tech talent markets in the United States and the larger Canada. The data looks at the sector’s total workforce, as well as the change in the number of technology workers over time in different cities.
The report also ranks metro areas and regions that can rightly be considered primarily tech hubs, by considering a variety of factors including cost of living, average educational attainment, and levels of technology employment as a share of different industries.
The most important technology centers in the United States
Silicon Valley, in the California Bay Area, remains the most prominent (and most expensive) technology center in the United States, with a talent pool of nearly 380,000 tech workers.
Here is a look at the top tech talent markets in the country in terms of total number of employees:
|🇺🇸 market||Total Tech Talent||% Talent Growth (2016-2021)|
|SF . Bay Area||378870||13%|
|New York metro||344,520||3%|
|Dallas / Ft. Deserves||187950||15th%|
|Raleigh / Durham||69.050||11%|
|Salt Lake City||55930||29%|
America’s large coastal cities still contain the lion’s share of tech talent, but midsize tech hubs like Salt Lake City, Portland, and Denver have had solid growth numbers in recent years. Seattle, which includes both Amazon and Microsoft, has recorded an astounding 32% growth rate over the past five years.
Emerging technology hubs include areas such as Raleigh-Durham. Both cities have nearly 70,000 tech workers and a strong talent pipeline, seeing a 28% increase in degree completions in areas such as math/statistics and computer engineering year-on-year through 2020. In fact, the entire state of North Carolina is becoming a hub increasingly commercially attractive.
Houston was the only city on this list that recorded a negative growth rate of -2%.
The best technology centers in Canada
Tech giants like Google, Meta and Amazon are steadily increasing their presence in Canada, cementing the country’s position as the next big destination for tech talent. The following are four technology hubs in the country with a total workforce of more than 50,000:
|🇨🇦 market||Total Tech Talent||% Talent Growth (2016-2021)|
Toronto had the highest absolute growth rate for tech jobs in 2021, adding 88,900 jobs. The tech sector in Canada’s largest city has seen a lot of momentum in recent years, and CBRE has now ranked it the No. 3 tech hub in North America, after SF Bay and Seattle.
The number of tech talent in Vancouver increased more than the original figure, up by 63%. Seattle-based companies like Microsoft and Amazon have set up large offices in the city, adding to an already thriving tech landscape. Furthermore, Google is set to build a high-speed submarine fiber optic cable connecting Canada to Asia, with a terminal in Vancouver.
Not to be left behind, Ottawa has also taken giant strides to increase its technical talents and seal its existence. The country’s capital has the highest concentration of tech employment in its workforce, thanks in part to the success of Shopify.
The small, but well known Waterloo Tech Center was also very focused on tech employment (9.6%). The region has experienced 8% growth in the tech workforce over the past five years.
Six of the top 10 cities by concentration of technology workforce are in Canada.
The development of technical centers
The post-COVID era has seen a shifting definition of what a tech hub means. Remote work is clearly here to stay, and as workers migrate to chase affordability and convenience, traditional tech centers are seeing some decline – or at least slower growth – in the number of tech workers.
While it is not clear that there is a mass exodus of tech talent from traditional coastal hubs, the rise in high-paying tech jobs in smaller markets across the country could indicate a positive trend for the industry.
As more workers with great talent, resources, and education continue to choose cost-effective places to live and work remotely, will new markets like Charlotte, Tennessee, and Calgary see a rise in tech companies, or will large corporations and startups alike continue to choose the megacities on the coast?