Phoenix ranks No. 15 overall in CBRE’s 2023 Scoring Tech Talent report, moving up one spot as macroeconomic headwinds slowed tech talent hiring by major tech firms in North America, according to a new report from CBRE.

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Overall, the U.S. and Canada added a net 760,000 tech talent jobs since 2020 across established hubs such as the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Seattle and Vancouver as well as smaller markets like Nashville, Cleveland and Canada’s Waterloo Region.

Phoenix’s tech talent workforce of 109,160 grew by 30.1% between 2017 and 2022. That’s the eighth-biggest gain among large tech talent markets in North America. The number of U.S. tech talent workers increased 7.3% from May 2021 to May 2022, which is significantly higher than the 5% growth in total U.S. employment in May 2022. Software developers and programmers across all industries accounted for more than half of the new tech talent employment.

“Tech professionals and recent tech degree graduates often gravitate toward or remain in markets with abundant job opportunities or higher pay, areas Phoenix is delivering on,” said Tim Kempton, associate at CBRE. “We’ve observed a 14.5% five-year wage growth for tech occupations, the migration of companies to Phoenix and a burgeoning startup ecosystem that will cultivate this tech talent and continue to drive job and wage growth.”

CBRE’s annual Scoring Tech Talent report covers 75 North American markets, ranks the top 50 tech markets in the U.S. and Canada and outlines tech talent labor market trends amid economic shifts and increased remote hiring. 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.

For the first time this year, CBRE’s report examines tech talent wages paid by tech companies based on geography. Phoenix had the 19th highest average annual wage for tech talent in the tech industry ($84,314). The San Francisco Bay Area ($185,425) and Seattle ($172,009) had the highest average wages, while Sacramento ($107,580) and Jacksonville ($105,353) were the highest among small markets.

Phoenix stood out in the report in several other key areas:

  • Phoenix saw a 44% increase in tech degree completions between 2017 and 2021. The number of tech-related degrees grew in North America by 60,000 during the same time period.
  • Phoenix created more tech graduates (28,053 from 2017 to 2021) than tech jobs (17,580 from 2018 to 2022), meaning that the market creates a surplus of tech talent for expanding and relocating companies.
  • Phoenix’s population of people in their 30s with a college degree increased by 32.4% from 2016 to 2021, the third-ranked U.S. market with the biggest gain among large markets in that span. And it is the fifth-ranked U.S. market with the highest concentration of people in their 20s with a college degree at 27.8% of its population.
  • Phoenix has relatively affordable real estate costs for a leading tech hub. Both its average annual office asking rent ($30.05 per sq. ft.) and average monthly apartment rent ($1,636) are the 21st most expensive, and its ratio of tech salary to apartment rent of 20.2% is the 18th highest.

To download the full report, click here.

Additionally, CBRE’s latest tech talent analyzer provides an interactive, in-depth comparison of tech talent in different markets. For more information, click here.