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San Francisco Bay area has been outpaced by Toronto’s tech job growth, a new study finds

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San Francisco Bay area has been outpaced by Toronto’s tech job growth, a new study finds

Toronto led cities in both Canada and the United States in the number of tech jobs created between 2012 and 2017, outpacing traditional tech hubs like the San Francisco Bay Area, a new study shows.

More than 82,000 tech jobs were created in Toronto during the five-year period, roughly 4,300 more than the number of tech jobs created in the San Francisco Bay Area during this time frame.

Toronto added 28,900 tech jobs in 2017 alone, an increase of 13.6 percent over the previous year — making it the fastest growing tech market in North America for the second year in a row.

Overall, Toronto placed fourth out of the 50 North American cities that constitute the 2018 Scoring Tech Talent Report produced by CBRE Canada, part of the Fortune 500 CBRE Group headquartered in Los Angeles.

The Tech Talent Scorecard is determined based on 13 unique metrics, including tech talent supply, growth, concentration, cost, completed tech degrees, industry outlook for tech job growth, and market outlook for both office and apartment rent cost growth.

“Toronto continues to outpace other North American markets, having added more tech jobs in 2017 than the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. combined,” said Paul Morassutti, Executive Managing Director of CBRE Canada.

Toronto’s fourth-place finish overall marked the first time a Canadian city placed in the annual study’s top five.

Toronto also placed first in terms of “Brain Gain,” which is the number of jobs created minus the number of tech degrees granted in a given city between 2012 and 2017. Toronto posted a gain of 55,025 during this period, compared to the San Francisco Bay Area’s 46,529.

In a recent survey conducted by Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District, 45 percent of the tech companies that replied reported hiring international candidates in 2017 and 53 percent experienced a jump in international applications in 2017 over 2016.

A majority of survey respondents credited Canada’s Global Skills Strategy and its Global Talent Stream for the increase in international hires.

Introduced in June 2017, the Global Talent Stream fast-tracks the visa approval process for skilled foreign workers who meet specific employment needs.

Ottawa tops ‘Momentum Market’ category

Ottawa, Canada’s national capital and home to global tech powerhouse Shopify, placed 13th overall but took top spot in the “Momentum Market” category, which looks at the tech talent market showing the quickest growth in North America.

Tech employment growth in Ottawa was 15.2 per cent in 2016 and 2017, 3.5 per cent higher than second-place Los Angeles, which had 11.7 per cent growth.

The report says Ottawa is home to more than 1,700 technology companies and employs more than 70,000 tech employees, which represents 11.2 per cent of total jobs in the city.  San Francisco was second, with 9.8 per cent.

The CBRE says this concentration of tech talent in Ottawa is more than three times the U.S. national average of 3.5 per cent.

The CBRE’s Morassutti said the strong U.S. dollar is also encouraging more companies to consider operating in Canada, where the dollar is weaker and skilled labor is less expensive.

“Companies looking to house operations are putting serious thought to locating in Canada,” he said.  “Compared to cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., Newark and Los Angeles, Toronto is among the best value for quality options for tech firms thanks to less expensive access to labor and real estate, but also high educational attainment levels. In short, Canada provides access to very high-quality labor at a fraction of the cost.”

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