Phoenix is No. 20 on CBRE’s Tech Talent Scorecard, part of its annual Scoring Tech Talent Report, which ranks 50 U.S. and Canadian markets according to their ability to attract and grow tech talent. 

The top five markets for tech talent in 2019 were the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Toronto, Washington, D.C., and New York, all large markets with a tech labor pool of more than 50,000. With over 85,000 tech workers—a figure that has grown by 12.3 percent over the last five years—Phoenix has the 17th largest tech labor pool in North America. Tech employment accounts for 4.1 percent of its total employment, compared to the national average of 3.7 percent.

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

Phoenix stood out in the report in a number of other key areas:

Phoenix is the 8th largest producer of tech degree graduates, adding more than 24,400 new tech grads between 2012 and 2017. The metro has produced more than 15,000 more tech graduates than the market could employ.

• Phoenix’s millennial population grew by 8.3 percent since 2012, more than three times the national average of 2.5 percent. That’s 14.1 percent of total population growth.

• Phoenix stands out as an affordable city to live in with regard to housing and relative cost of living. The rent-to-tech wage ratio is 15 percent. The average apartment rent for a year in 2019 is $13,242 ($1,104/month), and the average annual tech wage is $88,342. In the most expensive market, New York (Manhattan), NY, those numbers are $49,445 ($4,120/month) and $113,500, (a rent-to-wage ratio of 43.6 percent) respectively.

“As the Phoenix tech ecosystem continues to grow, tech companies will have an ample supply of talent to choose from given Phoenix’s fast-growing millennial population and a large supply of well-educated tech graduates being produced by Arizona’s higher education institutions like Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Grand Canyon University,” said Kevin Calihan, Executive Vice President with CBRE. “A continued focus on tech job-creation will ensure our skilled tech workers remain in the metro.”

Top 20 tech talent markets

1. San Francisco Bay Area, CA

2. Seattle, WA

3. Toronto, ON

4. Washington, D.C.

5. New York, NY

6. Austin, TX

7. Boston, MA

8. Denver, CO

9. Atlanta, GA

10. Raleigh-Durham, NC

11. Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX

12. Vancouver, BC

13. Montreal, QC

14. Baltimore, MD

15. Salt Lake City, UT

16. Portland, OR

17. Minneapolis, MN

18. San Diego, CA

19. Ottawa, ON

20. Phoenix