Cleveland, OH

Cleveland Ranks #42 in CBRE’s Annual ‘Scoring Tech Talent’ Report

Cleveland ranks well among North American tech hubs for tech talent job growth; also has affordable living and business operating costs

July 15, 2022

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Cleveland ranks #42 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.

The U.S. 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.

Cleveland rose two spots from last year’s ranking due in part to strong tech talent job growth over the past five years. Between 2016 and 2021, Cleveland’s tech workforce grew by 8,200 tech workers, or 25 percent, which is significantly above the national average of 12.8 percent.

“Cleveland’s low operating costs for tech companies combined with an affordable cost of living for its tech workers, make it attractive for tech companies and tech talent alike.” said Steve Voinovich, a first vice president at CBRE in Cleveland. “With drivers like these, it’s no surprise the metro continues to rise on this list.”

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.

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

  • Cleveland has the fifth largest tech talent labor pool among small markets, defined as a labor pool of less than 50,000, in North America, with 40,540 workers representing 4.2 percent of the total employment in 2021.
  • Cleveland’s average office asking rent ($18.71 per sq. ft. per year) is the lowest of the 50 markets ranked. The average one-year cost of operating a tech company with 500 employees occupying 75,000 sq. ft. in Cleveland is $42.4 million, That ranks the 18th least expensive among the 50 tech markets.
  • The ratio of tech salary to apartment rent in the city is 14.3 percent, making Cleveland the third most affordable metro in North America by this measure.
  • There were 2,777 more tech graduates in a five-year span (10,977 from 2016 to 2020) than there were tech jobs created (8,200 from 2017 to 2021). This means Cleveland has available tech talent for expanding companies.

To download the full 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