Portland Lands at No. 20 on CBRE’s Annual ‘Scoring Tech Talent’ Report

22 Jul 2020

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Portland ranks No. 20 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. Portland’s tech-talent labor pool is the 26th largest nationally at 60,550 workers, which amounts to 5.0% of the overall Portland workforce. The national average is 3.7%.

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. Portland moved down in the ranking from the No. 16 spot last year.

“COVID-19’s impact has been pervasive, but so far Portland’s tech ecosystem is fairing well. While hiring activity and expansion plans are largely paused, the dominant tech hardware sector has remained steady and is poised for future growth as firms seek to re-shore manufacturing capacity. We also expect continued growth among software and biotech firms,” stated Ajay Malhotra, First Vice President with CBRE’s Tech & Media Practice in Portland. “One of the advantages Portland has compared to other tech hubs is the area’s livability. We have a high quality of life and relative affordability, while still offering proximity to major hubs like San Francisco and Seattle.”

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% while overall U.S. employment registered a 5.5% drop.

“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.”

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.

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

  • Overall, Portland ranks seventh in the top 10 most concentrated millennial markets with 28% of its population aged 22 to 36 years. Portland’s millennial population increased by 20.3% (38,444 people) since 2013. 
  • Over the past five years, Portland has added 14,580 tech jobs to the market. 
  • From 2014 to 2018, Portland saw a 60.2% increase in tech degree completions (2,392 degrees completed in 2018).

 

Top 20 tech talent markets: 

 

RANK (2020)

MARKET

SCORE

1

SF Bay Area, CA

82.56

2

Washington, D.C.

67.39

3

Seattle, WA

66.36

4

Toronto, ON

64.34

5

New York, NY

64.01

6

Austin, TX

60.30

7

Denver, CO

59.89

8

Boston, MA

59.61

9

Atlanta, GA

58.78

10

Raleigh-Durham, NC

56.29

11

Baltimore, MD

56.11

12

Vancouver, BC

55.76

13

Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX

55.70

14

Ottawa, ON

55.15

15

Salt Lake City, UT

53.54

16

Montreal, QC

53.02

17

Minneapolis, MN

51.72

18

Phoenix, AZ

51.69

19

San Diego, CA

51.08

20

Portland, OR

50.48

 

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 www.cbre.com.