Press Release

Atlanta Ranks No. 8 on CBRE’s Annual 'Scoring Tech Talent Report'

July 13, 2021

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Atlanta Ranks Well Among North American Tech Hubs For Its Large Tech Labor Pool, High Tech-Graduation Rate, Millennial Growth


Atlanta – July 13, 2021 – Atlanta ranks eighth overall on CBRE’s 2021 Scoring Tech Talent report as North American tech-talent employment weathered the pandemic better than most other professions.


Numerous indicators underscore the resilience of tech talent during COVID-19. These occupations registered job growth of 0.8 percent in 2020 in the U.S. while non-tech occupations declined by 5.5 percent. Software developers and programmers were the most in demand tech-job category last year, adding 85,000 U.S. jobs for a 4.8 percent growth rate from a year earlier. Beyond the tech industry itself, those that added tech workers last year include financial activities, professional & business services, and government.

Atlanta has the 11th largest tech talent labor pool nationally with 143,780 tech workers, a 15.2 percent increase from 2015. Following the pandemic, factors including the size of a market’s talent labor pool is a key indicator of a region’s economic recovery.

“Atlanta’s tech ecosystem is undergoing a transformation from a high-growth tech market to a mature tech market due to a rapid rise in global tech employers expanding to the area, an evolution of its startup scene with several Atlanta-based tech companies reaching unicorn status and a rapid expansion of Atlanta’s venture scene,” said Christian Devlin, a Senior Vice President with CBRE‘s Tech & Media Practice in Atlanta. “We will continue to see not just incredible growth in the amount of tech talent here, but a rise in the quality of our talent pool. Combine that with a quickly maturing local tech scene and a geography that is conducive to additional growth, and I think Atlanta’s best and biggest days as a global tech hub are ahead.”


Overall, the top five markets for tech talent were the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Toronto and New York City, all large markets with a tech labor pool of more than 50,000. Atlanta moved up one spot in the rankings from last year.

“Many factors already are in place to fuel strong tech-talent job growth this year and beyond, including demand for tech to facilitate continued remote work, robust e-commerce growth and streaming services,” said Todd Husak, Managing Director of CBRE’s Tech & Media Practice Group. “Big tech markets will gain from their established pipelines of tech graduates and many workers’ return to city centers. Smaller markets will reap benefits from their cost advantages in labor and real estate as well as the tech industry’s embrace of remote work for certain employees.”


CBRE’s annual report, now in its ninth 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, among others. 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 developers and systems and data managers – across all industries.


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


  • Atlanta has the highest growth rate of tech degree completions among leading tech hubs, with an increase of 90.5 percent from 2014-2019. The market ranks seventh overall for tech degree completions with 8,361 completed in 2019.
  • Atlanta’s millennial population increased by 11.6 percent (140,948 people) since 2014. This ties Atlanta with Salt Lake City for 14th among the Top 50 tech talent markets.
  • Atlanta offers affordable living for tech talent workers, with the average annual apartment rent amounting to 15.7 percent of the average tech talent wage. That ranks 32nd lowest cost among the 50 largest tech-talent markets.
  • Overall, Atlanta ranks in the middle of the pack for expenses of operating a tech company. The average one-year cost for operating a 500-employee tech company occupying 75,000 sq. ft. in Atlanta amounts to $45.7 million. That ranks 18th most expensive among the top 50 tech talent markets.
  • Atlanta has a diverse tech talent workforce, ranking as one of only four top-50 tech markets (Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Nashville) with a percentage of underrepresented groups in its tech talent workforce (36.1 percent) greater than the ratio in its overall office-using workforce.


Top Overall North American Tech Markets

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LA/Orange Co.



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To download the report, click here.

About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Dallas, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2022 revenue). The company has approximately 115,000 employees (excluding Turner & Townsend employees) serving clients in more than 100 countries. CBRE serves a diverse range of clients with an integrated suite of services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at