Commercial real estate broker CBRE has released their 2021 Scoring Tech Talent report which breaks down tech talent by city in North America.
The four fastest-growing cities, as measured by the number of employees percentage-wise over the last five years, were all Canadian. Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Vancouver, and Edmonton each increased the size of their talent pool by more than 35%. This compares to 16.4% for the San Francisco Bay Area and 6.7% for New York.
As part of the report CBRE has analyzed tech-related graduation data and tech-related employment growth, to perform a brain gain/drain calculation. Graduates do not always remain in the labor market where they earn their degrees; they often migrate to locations that offer the most job opportunities or have the best pay.
Toronto, Seattle, Montreal, Vancouver and Charlotte produced more jobs than graduates and were the biggest brain gain markets, while New York, Boston, and Chicago produced more graduates than jobs and were the biggest brain drain markets.
The number of tech degree graduates was compared with tech talent job creation in each market to determine brain gains or brain drains. Tech degrees cover the most recent five-year period available (2015-2019) and tech jobs added cover the time period reflecting when most graduates would be counted in employment figures (2016-2020).
Among the Canadian cities, Toronto led the way with regards to brain gain with 26,338 tech degree graduates for 81,200 tech jobs, resulting in a need for +54,862 jobs to be filled by incoming candidates. Montreal (+15,772), Vancouver (+11,256), Edmonton (+6,478), Ottawa (+5,466), Calgary (+3,466), and Quebec City (+2,364) also experienced brain gain.
Only Kitchener-Waterloo experienced brain drain with 12,894 tech degree graduates for 8,300 tech jobs, resulting in -4,594 candidates looking elsewhere for work.