Seattle, WA

Seattle Leads U.S. Markets in Tech Job Creation in CBRE’s Annual ‘Scoring Tech Talent’ Report

Region ranked #2 overall due to its concentration in tech, abundance of highly skilled workers and growing number of tech degree graduates

July 14, 2022

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Sara Johnston

Corporate Communications, Mountain-Northwest Division

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Seattle ranks No. 2 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.

Seattle led all U.S. markets in tech job creation, adding 45,560 tech talent jobs between 2016 and 2021, behind only Toronto in North America. The market, which encompasses Seattle, Bellevue and Tacoma, ranks fourth in North America for its concentration of tech talent jobs. Tech talent jobs represents 9.9 percent of overall employment across the Puget Sound region—nearly double the 50-market average of 5.6 percent. Only the San Francisco Bay Area is more concentrated among large U.S. markets.

“Top talent can choose where they live and work. They have been moving to this region for years due to a perfect mix of jobs, housing, outdoors, community and diversity. Growth follows talent, and I think we are just getting started,” said Bill Cooper, senior vice president with CBRE’s Tech & Media Practice in Bellevue. “It's not just traditional tech driving the job growth. We are seeing a lot of activity from biotech and gaming—sectors equally reliant on tech talent for success.”

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.

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

  • The region’s tech talent workforce grew the second fastest on a percentage basis in the U.S. (32 percent between 2016-2021), behind only California’s Inland Empire.
  • It is home to the sixth-largest tech talent workforce in North America with 189,570 workers.
  • It had the second-highest growth rate in millennial population from 2015 to 2020 at 17.3 percent, behind only Austin at 17.8 percent. Seattle is the second most concentrated in millennials with those aged 25 to 39 representing 24.7 percent of the overall population, again following Austin at 25.6 percent.
  • It added 24,587 more tech talent jobs than tech graduates between 2016 and 2021.
  • It was the fourth most-diverse market for female tech degree graduates with females representing 31.6 percent of all those graduating with a tech degree.
  • The region’s average tech worker salary is second highest ($122,341), behind the San Francisco Bay Area.

Top 10 Tech Talent Markets

 Rank  Market  Index Score
 1  San Francisco Bay Area  85.52
 2  Seattle  79.39
 3  Toronto  68.93
 4  Washington, D.C.  67.88
 5  New York Metro  67.08
 6  Austin  65.19
 7  Boston  62.38
 8  Vancouver  62.19
 9  Dallas/Fort Worth  58.57
 10  Denver  57.53

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 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