Toronto added most North American tech jobs in 2017, with wages lower than any US hub

Photo via Unsplash

For the second year in a row, CBRE’s tech talent report found that Toronto is North America’s fastest growing tech market.

This year, Toronto jumped up two spots from sixth to fourth on the report’s Tech Talent Scorecard, marking the first time a Canadian market has made the top five. The report found that Toronto’s employee base grew by the largest number of workers in 2017, as it added 28,900 tech jobs. This is a 13.6 percent increase from the previous year.

“Toronto added more tech jobs in 2017 than the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, D.C. combined.”

“High-quality and well-educated tech talent, cost-efficiencies and welcoming immigration policies are competitive advantages for the Canadian tech markets. Toronto continues to outpace other North American markets, having added more tech jobs in 2017 than the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. combined,” said Paul Morassutti, executive managing director at CBRE Canada. “Canada’s tech markets are booming. In downtown Toronto alone, tech demand sits at 36 percent of all current office space demand.”

Other Canadian cities that made the list included Ottawa and Montreal, which ranked 13th and 14th place, respectively. Ottawa, in particular, was called out for being a “top momentum market” with a strong tech employment growth trajectory in recent years. The city comprises the largest concentration of tech talent on the list at 11.2 percent, more than three times the US national average of 3.5 percent. Toronto is the third most concentrated tech market at 8.9 percent.

“Ottawa is shedding its government town image. It is home to over 1,700 technology companies and employs over 70,000 tech talent employees,” said Shawn Hamilton, managing director of CBRE Ottawa. “In the last five years, urban tech has grown to be the second largest user group in downtown Ottawa, bigger than the accounting and legal sectors combined. Shopify continues to be our homegrown success story and has the international appeal to encourage tech clustering.”

CBRE 2018 tech talent
Tech talent quality vs. cost analysis (click to enlarge).

The Tech Talent Scorecard is determined based on 13 unique metrics, including tech talent supply, growth, concentration, cost, completed tech degrees, industry outlook for tech job growth, and market outlook for both office and apartment rent cost growth. It evaluated 50 US and Canadian cities on these metrics.

CBRE said that Canadian markets were among the best-value markets, due in part to the strong US dollar, with Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Ottawa offering “high-quality talent at relatively low cost.” Taking both talent and real estate costs into consideration, the “typical” 500-person tech company requiring 75,000 square feet of office space can expect a total annual cost to range from $27.6 million USD in Montreal—the least expensive market overall—to $32.2 million USD in Ottawa, the most expensive Canadian market. The average tech salary for each of these Canadian markets ranged between 61-72 percent relative to the US average.

See the full report here.

Photo via Unsplash.

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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