CBRE: Tucson a Top City for Tech Talent Growth

Tucson ranks No. 13 on CBRE’s list of up-and-coming North American tech-talent markets in the annual Scoring Tech Talent report, which ranks 75 U.S. and Canadian markets according to their ability to attract and grow tech talent. Tucson’s local tech employment has grown by 3% in the past five years and its tech wages have increased by 13%.

The report identifies emerging tech hubs in most regions of North America, from Huntsville, Ala. in the Southeast to Providence, R.I. in the Northeast to Albuquerque, N.M. in the West. Canada landed three cities on the list.

“Tucson benefits from not only a top-notch institution in the University of Arizona but also thriving aerospace and advanced manufacturing,” said David Montijo, a CBRE first VP in Tucson. “The area’s relatively low cost of living and rising tech wages makes it all the more appealing to the tech employers and keep local students who graduate with technology degrees from the University of Arizona.”

These up-and-coming markets are separate from the 50 larger tech markets that CBRE’s report ranks in its Tech Talent Scorecard. In contrast, the ‘next 25’ markets are ranked by a narrower set of criteria than the top 50, including tech talent supply, wages, tech talent concentration, recent tech talent growth rates and their outlook.

Nationally, tech talent job growth of 7.3% in the year ended in May 2022 exceeded the pace of non-tech job growth (5%) in that span. However, many technology companies have announced layoffs this year, with roughly 25% of those cuts affecting tech talent professions and the rest affecting non-tech roles at tech companies. This pullback by tech companies creates an opportunity for non-tech companies, which collectively already employ 59% of U.S. tech talent, to hire more.

“The labor market for tech talent is still very competitive, even amid a slower economy and layoffs, however it’s loosened enough to create hiring opportunities for non-tech companies,” said Colin Yasukochi, executive director of CBRE’s Tech Insights Center in San Francisco. “As tech talent gets redistributed across other industries, our economy becomes more digital and that could spur new growth for the tech industry. Artificial intelligence has seen a surge in venture capital funding, a positive indicator for the future growth of tech.”

The leaderboard of the ‘next 25’ markets is filled with markets that posted double-digit growth in tech jobs since 2017.

Tucson also stood out in the report in other key areas:

  • Tucson’s total tech talent employment of 16,970, increased by 3% from 2017 to 2022.
  • Its average tech wage of $87,206, grew by 13% since 2017.
  • Tucson’s average software developer wage of $110,530 has grown by 26.1% since 2017.
  • Tucson generated 1,269 tech talent degree graduates in 2021.

To download the full report, click here.

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