Salt Lake City a top tech destination in CBRE’s 2022 Tech Talent Report
Salt Lake City— Salt Lake City ranks #18 overall in CBRE’s 2022 Scoring Tech Talent report as North American tech-talent employment bounced back from the pandemic to post job gains across most top markets in 2021, though the industry’s resilience will be tested again amid economic turmoil in 2022, according to a new report from CBRE.
North America added a net 136,000 tech talent jobs last year across established hubs such as the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and Seattle as well as smaller markets like Nashville, Cleveland, and California’s Inland Empire. Both tech job growth and tech office leasing proved resilient by rebounding in 2021 from slowdowns in 2020.
Salt Lake City kept its position as 18 from last year’s ranking due in part to strong tech talent job growth. Its tech workforce of 55,930 grew by 29 percent, and computer engineering talent grew by 51 percent from 2016-2021. Over the past five years, the population of twenty-somethings grew by 20,996 (19.0 percent). This growth has made Salt Lake City one of the most concentrated markets for 25- to 39-year-olds, ranking sixth with a 23.2 percent concentration and second among 20- to 24-year-olds at 8.9 percent.
“Salt Lake City has proved year-over-year to be a top tech hub,” says Eric Smith with CBRE’s Tech & Media Practice in Salt Lake City. “With a massive increase in computer engineer degrees and a consistent destination for millennial employment, Salt Lake City highly deserves to be a top 20 market.”
CBRE’s report, now in its 10th year, ranks the top 50 North American markets by analyzing 13 measures of their ability to attract and develop tech talent, including tech graduation rates, tech-job concentration, tech labor pool size, and labor and real estate costs.
CBRE also ranks the Next 25 emerging tech markets on a narrower set of criteria. Tech talent is defined as 20 key tech professions — such as software engineers and systems and data managers – across all industries.
Salt Lake City stood out in the report in several key areas:
- Salt Lake City offers affordable living for tech-talent workers, with the average annual apartment rent amounting to 19.7 percent of the average tech-talent wage. That ranks 19th among the 50 largest tech-talent markets compared to New York (32 percent), Los Angeles (29.3 percent), and South Florida (28.2 percent), which ranked first, second, and third respectively.
- The metro area is an educational market with 26,036 tech degree completions and only 12,570 tech jobs added over the past five years. This means Salt Lake City has available talent for expanding companies.
- Salt Lake City is attractive to employers due to its relative value proposition. The average one-year cost for operating a 500-employee tech company occupying 75,000 sq. ft. in Salt Lake City amounts to $42.3 million. That ranks 36th most expensive among the top 50 tech talent markets.