Press Release

Austin Ranks No. 7 on CBRE’s Annual ‘Scoring Tech Talent’ Report

July 13, 2021

Austin Ranks High Among North American Tech Hubs for its Large Millennial Population, High Educational Attainment, and Affordable Operating Costs


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

An established, affordable destination for millennial tech workers, Austin has the lowest annual tech company operating costs and the third lowest average apartment rent among the top 10 U.S. tech talent markets. With major tech firm expansions and relocations announced, the region is poised to become one of the largest tech growth markets.  

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.

Austin has the most concentrated millennial tech workforce of any top 50 tech talent market, with 34.6 percent of the entire population falling into the 22-36 age bracket. The city’s millennial population grew 20.1 percent in the past four years (2015-2019), the fourth highest percentage change among large tech talent markets. Austin ranks sixth among the top 50 tech talent markets for educational attainment, with 46.2% of the population over 25 holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.

“We are now seeing a new wave of tech companies looking to move or establish an office presence here, with the pandemic just accelerated the rapid growth that Austin has been experiencing for the past 20 years,” said Erin Morales, Senior Vice President with CBRE’s Tech & Media Practice in Austin. “Austin has the high-quality talent and lifestyle amenities of other top tech hubs at a significantly lower cost. This is why the city will continue attracting companies and people for the foreseeable future – it’s a vibrant, youthful, and accessible place where people enjoy a high quality of life.” 

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. Austin fell one spot this year, ranking seventh overall.

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.


Austin stood out in the report in several key areas:


  • Austin ranks 20th for the overall size of its tech talent market, which grew 10 percent over the past five years (2015-2020) to 79,230 in 2020. With tech workers accounting for 7.5 percent of the total labor market, Austin has eighth highest concentration of tech workers among large U.S. tech talent markets.
  • Austin produced more tech graduates than new tech jobs in the past four years (12,962 tech graduates and 7,200 new tech jobs from 2016-2020). That means ample talent supply becomes available each year for workforce growth.
  • Software developers and programmers account for 38.7 percent of the total tech talent in Austin and commanded an average wage in 2020 of $105,404. That ranks Austin eighth for the concentration and 17th for average wage among large tech markets.
  • Austin ranks as the 22nd most expensive overall among the top 50 tech-talent markets, with the 10th highest office rent growth over the past five years (24 percent). Annual operating costs for a 500-person tech company occupying 75,000 sq. ft. in Austin amounts to $45.7 million.
Austin offers affordable living for tech-talent workers, with the average monthly apartment rent amounting to $1,259 in 2020, representing 16 percent of a tech worker’s salary.


Top Overall North American Tech Markets

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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 2021 revenue). The company has more than 105,000 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