Seattle still No. 1 in quality of labor pool in new ‘Tech Talent’ ranking of 50 leading markets – GeekWire

The Seattle skyline from Lake Union. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Seattle is once again the top market in North America for the quality of its tech labor pool, according to the 2020 “Scoring Tech Talent” report from CBRE, a ranking of regions for how they attract, retain and grow tech talent.

Seattle did fall one spot to No. 3 behind the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C., in the overall ranking of the top 50 North American markets.

Quality of the labor pool is measured by the concentration of software engineers and developers with over three years of experience and degrees from the top 25 computer science programs.

“Seattle has a deep bench of high quality tech labor, driven by the growth of blue chip technology firms and cloud computing as well as Seattle’s emerging leadership in artificial intelligence,” Michael Dash, vice chairman with CBRE in Seattle, said in a news release.

Dash added that the Puget Sound region is poised to fare better than most cities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic because future growth is fueled by quality of life, presence of technical colleges and universities, and relative affordability.

The top 10 markets in CBRE’s Scoring Tech Talent report. (CBRE Graphic)

Seattle has the eighth-largest tech-talent labor pool nationally at 155,330 workers, which amounts to 7.7% of the overall Seattle workforce. According to CBRE, this places Seattle among the five most-tech-concentrated markets in North America — more than double the national average of 3.7%.

Here are some other key Seattle stats from the report:

  • Seattle retained the top ranking for educational attainment with 65% of residents over age 25 holding a bachelor’s degree or higher (compared to a U.S. average of 32.6%).
  • The millennial population aged 22 to 36 increased by 26.9% since 2013, the second highest growth among tech markets (following only the Bay Area).
  • The average tech wage of $119,170 is second-highest in North America and its average office rent is the sixth most expensive among top tech markets.
  • The market stands out a job creator, ranking fourth for “brain gain,” meaning it added 11,739 more tech jobs than tech graduates over the past five years.


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