Toronto and Vancouver are Canada’s Top Tech Talent Markets but Smaller Markets Growing

Toronto is Canada’s leading tech market and its tech workforce has grown by over a third in the last five years.  However, competition for highly skilled technology workers is stiffening among a surge of new technology jobs in smaller, cheaper markets.

According to CBRE Canada’s inaugural 2016 Scoring Tech Talent Report, total tech employment in Canada has swelled by almost a quarter in the last five calendar years, adding almost 140,000 new jobs.

However, the report also discovered that technology employers are increasingly examining talent costs to guide location decisions with three of the four largest increases in new technology jobs occurring in smaller and lower costs markets.  Waterloo Region, Winnipeg and Halifax recorded 74.4%, 58.5% and 50.0% growth respectively over the last five years.

“The number of tech jobs has soared in Canada in the past five years, with nine out the 10 top Canadian markets recording growth.  Of those nine, eight recorded double digit growth rates.  The tech sector is becoming ever more critical by the day to the Canadian office market, with technology firms accounting for 16.1% of all major office lease deals in Canada last year.  This percentage increases markedly in our larger urban areas, for example tech accounted for 43% of all leases in Ottawa last year, and it’s a trend we only see growing in the years to come,” commented Raymond Wong, Head of Research at CBRE Canada.

Rankings for the Tech Talent Scorecard are determined based on 13 unique metrics including tech talent supply, growth, concentration, cost, completed degrees, industry outlook for job growth, and market outlook for both office and apartment rent cost growth. Each market is then ascribed a score out of 100.

Being already well established tech markets, Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal took the top four spots, with Calgary, surprising by taking the fifth spot.  Halifax, Edmonton, Waterloo Region, Winnipeg and London were ranked six to 10.

Although starting from a smaller base, explaining their lower rankings, it’s important to recognize that Waterloo Region, Winnipeg and Halifax demonstrated the highest tech job growth rates.