Minneapolis and Columbus both ranked among the nation’s top tech markets, according to the latest Scoring Tech Talent Report from CBRE.
Minneapolis ranked as the top Midwest city in CBRE’s report, which ranks 50 North American markets according to their ability to attract and grow tech talent. Columbus ranked 24th in the report. But this city was the top-ranked small tech market in the country.
CBRE’s Tech Talent Scorecard is determined based on 13 metrics. These include 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.
This year’s report also focuses on how tech-talent jobs are poised to weather COVID-19, state-ordered business shutdowns and an economic recession. According to the report, companies across all industries need the technical skills that this talent base possesses.
Tech products such as streaming, remote communications and social media are in higher demand as more people work from home and follow social-distancing practices.
“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.”
Minneapolis ranked 17th in CBRE’s tech talent report, with an overall score of 51.72. The city ranked first among all Midwest markets. Columbus ranked 24th with a score of 46.13, the third-highest ranking of any Midwest city, behind Minneapolis and 23rd-ranked Chicago, and the top ranking of any small tech market. CBRE defines smaller tech markets as those with a tech labor pool under 50,000.
Tech labor concentration, the percentage of total employment dedicated to tech jobs, is an important factor in how tech-centric a market is. CBRE reported that Minneapolis has a tech talent labor pool of 92,830, or 4.7 percent of its total employment. That is higher than the national average of 3.7 percent.
Minneapolis is also the seventh-most concentrated Millennial market, with this age group making up 21.3 percent of its populaton.
“From focused education to a thriving start-up scene to ongoing corporate support, our community continues to benefit from its investment in the people creating the tech ecosystem of Minneapolis,” said Dan Peterson vice president in the Minneapolis office of CBRE.
Minneapolis’ tech talent labor pool has increased by 13.2 percent during the last five years, growing to 92,830, according to CBRE. Non-tech occupations in Minneapolis grew by a smaller 5.1 percent during the same period.
With a rate of 50.8 percent, Minneapolis ranked seventh among the top cities for educational attainment.
Columbus also enjoyed several positive tech-centric rankings in CBRE’s report. The city’s tech-talent labor pool is at 48,930 workers, a 14.2 percent increase that amounts to a healthy 4.6 percent of the overall workforce.
Columbus’ millennial population concentration aged 22 to 36 is 10th in the nation at 27.2 percent and increased by 11.3 percent from 2014-2018.
Columbus offers affordable living for tech-talent workers, with the average annual apartment rent amounting to 12.9 percent of the average tech-talent wage. That ranks third-lowest among the 50 largest tech-talent markets.
Overall, Columbus ranks in the middle of the pack when it comes to the expenses of operating a tech company. The average one-year cost for operating a 500-employee tech company occupying 75,000 square feet in Columbus amounts to $40.2 million. That ranks as the 24th least expensive among the top 50 tech-talent markets.
Omaha, Nebraska, also scored well on the Scoring Tech Talent Reoprt. This city ranked third on CBRE’s list of up-and-coming North American tech-talent markets. According to CBRE, Omaha’s tech-talent labor force grew by 21 percent during the last five years. Its tech wages increased by 11 percent during this same period.
The report’s up-and-coming markets are separate from the 50 larger tech markets that CBRE’s report ranks. The Next 25 markets are ranked by a narrower set of criteria than the top 50, including tech-talent supply, wages, tech-talent concentration and recent tech-talent growth rates.
“Omaha has found success with landing and birthing startups due to its intentional public and private initiatives to attract companies and grow tech talent,” said Kellee Mikuls, vice president with CBRE’s Omaha office.
Mikuls points to the significant investment of the Omaha Downtown revitalization project, where a group of philanthropists are investing in making Omaha’s downtown a destination for tech companies.
“There is also significant funding through grants and city incentives that we help bring to our clients’ attention as they grow or look to office in Omaha,” Mikuls said. “It’s a huge priority for the chamber to be a tech hub and it’s apparent we are on our way there.”