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Vancouver is North America’s fastest-growing tech job market: CBRE

Moderate wages make Vancouver one of the least expensive cities to run a tech business
Wage for Vancouver tech workers are among the lowest in North America, according to a new report from CBRE

Although some Vancouver tech companies have cut back their workforce amid an uncertain global economy, the city remains one of the most attractive hubs for tech talent in North America, according to a new report from CBRE Group Inc.

The Scoring Tech Talent report, which ranks North America’s top tech employment markets, shows there were 111,100 tech jobs in Vancouver in 2022. 

The 69 per cent increase from 2017 makes Vancouver the fastest-growing tech hub on the continent, according to the July 18 report from the real estate services firm.

The high growth rate helped make Vancouver the No. 8 tech hub in North America – the same as last year – and No. 2 among Canadian cities after Toronto.

“After a period of hypergrowth, the global tech sector is facing headwinds, and like many other sectors of the economy, tech has had to adjust to changing economic circumstances with office right-sizing and layoffs,” Paul Morassutti, chairman of CBRE Canada, said in a statement.

“Regardless of these short-term trends, Canadian cities have a solid tech employment base, and job growth in Canadian markets such as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal are among the highest in North America.”

The report also found there were 29,932 more jobs created in Vancouver than the number of tech degree graduates over the past five years. Meanwhile, the number of residents in their 30s, which is an important indicator of workforce growth, has grown by 16 per cent since 2016 – the second-fastest growth rate among large cities in North America.

In terms of operating costs for tech businesses, Vancouver ranked No. 8 in North America in terms of leasing costs, with a 60,000-square-foot office coming in at more than $2.4 million annually. But its relevantly low wages made it the 45th most expensive city out of the 50 on the list, and the third most expensive in Canada after Toronto and Calgary.

A tech professional is paid an average of $73,626 annually in Vancouver and $157,457 in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to the report.

CBRE’s ranking for the top 10 tech hubs in North America:

1. San Francisco Bay Area

2. Seattle

3. New York Metro

4. Washington, D.C.

5. Toronto

6. Austin

7. Boston 

8. Vancouver

9. Dallas/Ft. Worth

10. Denver