Seattle is the third best tech market in North America, trailing only the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington D.C., according to a new report from real estate services company CBRE.
CBRE’s annual Scoring Tech Talent report uses 13 metrics like number of tech employees, population trends, wages, education levels and housing and business costs to rank the top metro areas for tech.
Seattle passed New York for third this year on the back of a growing, well-paid and well-educated class of tech employees and a strong roster of big companies.
San Francisco Bay Area was the top rated tech metro, followed by Washington D.C., then Seattle, with New York and Austin rounding out the top five.
Portland was among the top small tech markets, trailing only Columbus, Ohio and Charlotte, North Carolina in that category. It ranked 25th overall due to its well-educated population and a growing number of tech jobs.
In 2015, the Seattle metro area had 131,660 tech employees. That is up more than 50 percent since 2010. Only 22 percent of them are women.
The report shows a big divide in Seattle between a prosperous tech community and everyone else. Tech workers in Seattle make $110,999 on average, and their wages have increased close to 20 percent since 2010. Only tech workers in San Francisco — average of $123,921 per year — make more than their counterparts in Seattle.
The 177,380 people who work in other professional fields like finance, sales and marketing make an average of $57,603 per year and their wages have only increased 6.3 percent since 2010.
During that same time period, apartment rents increased 39 percent to an average of $1,619 a month.
No city boasts a higher percentage of people with bachelor’s degrees or better than Seattle at 59 percent. A lot of these people are young millennials in their 20s. Approximately 14,100 millennials have moved to the area since 2009, a population increase of 11.7 percent for that age group. The population of 60-to-69-year-olds saw the greatest increase at 27.5 percent.
Seattle ranks as the fourth most-expensive place for tech companies to do business. A theoretical 500-person company in a 75,000-square-foot space in the Seattle area would spend $47.1 million per year in rent and wages.
Vancouver B.C. is also among the top tech markets, coming in at 20th. That is because it has the lowest cost to operate a tech company in all the markets CBRE surveyed.