15 Jul 2020


Charlotte stands out among the largest North American tech-talent cities with high ranks in tech labor pool growth, brain gain, and millennial population

Charlotte – July 15, 2020 –
Charlotte now ranks #28 on CBRE’s Tech Talent Scorecard, part of its annual Scoring Tech Talent Report, which ranks 50 North American markets according to their ability to attract and grow tech talent.

Tech labor concentration – or the percentage of total employment – is an influential factor in how “tech-centric” the market is and its growth potential. Charlotte has a tech-talent labor pool of 57,340, or 4.6 percent of its total Charlotte workforce, compared to the national average of 3.7 percent. Charlotte’s tech talent labor pool grew at the third-fastest pace of all 50 markets, increasing by 38 percent between 2015-2019.

The top five markets for tech talent in 2020 were the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington DC, Seattle, Toronto, and New York, all large markets with a tech labor pool of more than 100,000. Charlotte’s rapid hiring of these skilled occupations helped to move the market up two spots to 28th this year.

“Charlotte continues to grow as a tech-talent market through its strong labor pool, millennial population, and brain gain. The recent announcement of Centene’s planned East Coast headquarters relocation to Charlotte is a testament to how our city is truly becoming a hub for tech companies.  Also, due to the many leading financial service companies in Charlotte, the city draws in smaller companies and entrepreneurs to develop their innovations in the market.  This is resulting in tech clusters forming in the area, which will continue to attract and produce tech talent in the future,” said Joe Franco, senior vice president at CBRE.  

The report outlines how tech-talent jobs are positioned to weather COVID-19 and related shutdowns and the ensuing recession because, more than ever, companies across all industries need the technical skills that this talent base offers. Many tech products and services such as streaming, remote communications and social media now are in higher demand to support remote work and social distancing. Tech employment has shown it can withstand economic shocks: In the 2008-2010 recession, tech-talent employment declined by 0.5 percent while overall U.S. employment registered a 5.5 percent drop.

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

“We expect that most tech-talent markets and professions will thrive after the pandemic subsides, and many that facilitate remote work and tech services such as e-commerce, social media and streaming services may have even greater growth opportunities accelerated by the COVID-19 disruption,” said Colin Yasukochi, Executive Director of CBRE’s Tech Insights Center. “Markets that have strong innovation infrastructure – leading universities and high concentrations of tech jobs – will lead the next growth cycle.”

Charlotte stood out in the report in a number of other key areas:

  • Among large tech markets, Charlotte ranks fourth in millennial population change, having increased its millennial population by 20.1 percent since 2013.
  • Charlotte offers affordable living for tech-talent workers, with the average annual apartment rent amounting to 14.5 percent of the average tech-talent wage. That ranks 38th among the 50 largest tech-talent markets.
  • Charlotte stands out as a tech-job creator and tech talent attractor, adding 9,141 more tech jobs than graduates, ranking fifth among the top markets to report a “brain gain.” Charlotte’s tech degree completions also increased by 45.4 percent from 2014-2018.
  • Overall, Charlotte's expenses for operating a tech company ­remain in the middle of the pack. The average one-year cost for operating a 500-employee tech company operation 75,000 sq. ft. in Charlotte amounts to $43 million. That ranks #20 among the top 50 tech-talent markets.

Top 10 tech talent markets:

RANK (2019)




SF Bay Area, CA



Washington, D.C.



Seattle, WA



Toronto, ON



New York, NY



Austin, TX



Denver, CO



Boston, MA



Atlanta, GA



Raleigh-Durham, NC


View the full report here. To view individual market statistics and rankings, including rankings on the Scorecard, access CBRE’s Tech Talent Analyzer.

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 2021 revenue). The company has more than 105,000 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