Detroit, MI

Detroit Ranks #25 in CBRE’s Annual ‘Scoring Tech Talent’ Report

The metro maintained its position due to consistent job growth, quality of labor and number of graduates; it also has affordable living and operating costs

July 18, 2022

Detroit Ranks No. 25 in CBRE Scoring Tech Talent 2022 Report

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Detroit ranks #25 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.

Detroit maintained its spot at #25 in this year’s report after rising six places last year. The metro has the 18th largest tech talent labor pool in North America with 93,770 workers representing 4.7 percent of the total employment in 2021. Between 2016 and 2021, Detroit’s tech talent workforce grew by 5 percent, adding 4,600 employees.

“Much of Detroit’s recent growth and success is an ecosystem story. It’s a reinforcing loop powered by tech education, prominent tech companies and the tech start-up community, and automotive demand for connected vehicles and infrastructure,” said Andrew Baines, Senior Associate at CBRE. “This ecosystem makes Detroit a great place to not only learn and grow, but ultimately stay to attain a thriving career. On a larger scale, these drivers also provide opportunities for spin-off service businesses, food and beverage options, improved hospitality options, and events – all of which contribute to the continued vibrancy of Detroit.”

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.

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

  • Detroit is among the top U.S. markets for value when it comes to the cost and quality of software engineers. In 2021, the metro employed 31,240 workers in this occupation with an average salary of $90,111.
  • The average wage for all tech occupations is $88,592, a 5.3 percent increase since 2016.
  • There were 32,729 tech degree graduates from Detroit-area universities between 2016 to 2020.
  • Detroit’s millennial population—the largest demographic cohort in the workforce—rose 7.9 percent between 2015 and 2020.
  • The market is the 13th most affordable tech-talent market with an average annual apartment rent amounting to 15.6 percent of the average tech-talent wage, which sits well below the affordability standard of 30 percent of income to housing.
  • For tech companies operating in Detroit, the metro remained affordable as well, ranking as the 19th most affordable among the top 50 tech-talent markets. The average one-year cost for operating a 500-employee tech company occupying 75,000 sq. ft. in Detroit is $42.5 million.

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 2023 revenue). The company has more than 130,000 employees (including 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