Jul 13, 2021 - Technology

Where the tech talent pool is growing

Talent pools of top tech markets
Data: CBRE; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

There are emerging hubs all over the U.S. and Canada pulling tech talent away from the superstar cities — but the tech centers are holding onto their dominance, according to a new analysis from the commercial real estate firm CBRE.

The big picture: The pandemic has pushed millions of people to move out of cities, but it hasn't been enough to knock places like the Bay Area and New York out of the top spots to start tech companies.

Between the lines: Among the top 10 markets — with tech talent pools well over 150,000 people — the San Francisco and Toronto metro areas have the highest concentration of workers. About 11% of the Bay Area workforce is in tech, and the same is true for Toronto.

  • Compare that with the 3.8% and 3.7% concentrations in New York and Los Angeles, respectively.
  • A high concentration of tech workers can create environments more conducive to innovation, says Colin Yasukochi, executive director of CBRE's tech insights center and author of this report.

Several cities — large and small — saw huge gains in their tech talent pools in the last five years.

  • Among the big metros, Toronto's pool grew by 43%, Seattle's by 35% and Montreal's by 31%.
  • Among the small ones, Orlando, Florida, saw a 30% gain; Nashville, Tennessee, 36%, and Edmonton, Canada, 53%.

Worth noting: Three of the cities with the biggest gains are in Canada. As we've reported, there was a steady "brain drain" from the U.S. to Canada in the age of Trump as Canada took advantage of America's hardline immigration policies to pull away talent.

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