Salt Lake City Ranks Well Among North American Tech Hubs For Its Tech Job Growth, Millennial Population Growth and Concentration

Salt Lake City—July 22, 2021—Salt Lake City ranks #18 overall on CBRE’s 2021 Scoring Tech Talent report as North American tech-talent employment weathered the pandemic better than most other professions.

Numerous indicators underscore the resilience of tech talent during COVID-19. These occupations registered job growth of 0.8 percent in 2020 in the U.S. while non-tech occupations declined by 5.5 percent. Software developers and programmers were the most in demand tech-job category last year, adding 85,000 U.S. jobs for a 4.8 percent growth rate from a year earlier. Beyond the tech industry itself, those that added tech workers last year include financial activities, professional & business services, and government.

Salt Lake City’s tech talent labor pool, which for purposes of this report includes both the Salt Lake and Provo MSAs, has grown by 33.9 percent since 2015 to rank as the 30th largest nationally at 50,070 workers. Tech jobs account for 5.1 percent of total jobs in Salt Lake City’s workforce, a concentration above the 3.9% national average. Following the pandemic, the size of a market’s talent labor pool is one of the key indicators of a region’s economic recovery.

Overall, the top five markets for tech talent were the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Toronto and New York City, all large markets with a tech labor pool of more than 50,000. Salt Lake City remained ranked at 18th this year.

“This report offers a detailed look into what’s really driving the local tech market. One of the insights that came from this year’s report is the fact that the Salt Lake City tech market has high labor quality with only moderate labor costs,” noted Eric Smith, senior vice president and CBRE Tech & Media Practice Group member. “The area has been categorized as a ‘brain drain’ market in the report, meaning there are more graduates with technical degrees than available jobs. In addition, it is one of the lowest cost large markets for businesses, based on lease rates and wages. This provides an ideal opportunity for companies looking to relocate or expand to the area—high-quality labor is readily available, and overall labor costs are much more affordable than comparable market areas, a potential win-win for both employers and employees.”

CBRE’s annual report, now in its ninth year, ranks the top 50 North American markets by analyzing 13 measures of their ability to attract and develop tech talent, including tech graduation rates, tech-job concentration, tech labor pool size, and labor and real estate costs, among others. CBRE also ranks the Next 25 emerging tech markets on a narrower set of criteria. Tech talent is defined as 20 key tech professions — such as software developers and systems and data managers – across all industries.

Salt Lake City stood out in the report in a number of other key areas:

  • The millennial population aged 23 to 38 increased by 11.6 percent (50,145 people) since 2014. Salt Lake City is also the eighth-most concentrated millennial market, with nearly one-third of the metro’s population in this cohort.
  • The average tech wage grew 14.4 percent over the last five years to $89,184.
  • Salt Lake City offers affordable living for tech-talent workers, with the average annual apartment rent amounting to 16.2 percent of the average tech-talent wage. That ranks 25th among the 50 largest tech-talent markets.
  • The metro churned out 22,551 tech graduates between 2015 and 2019.
  • Salt Lake City is the 15th most affordable market among the top 50 tech-talent markets to operate a tech company. The average one-year cost for operating a 500-employee tech company occupying 75,000 sq. ft. in Salt Lake City amounts to $41 million.

Top Overall North American Tech Markets

2021 Rank Market Score 2021 Rank Market Score
1 Bay Area 86.40 6 Boston 62.60
2 Seattle 73.16 7 Austin 58.87
3 Washington, DC 65.60 8 Atlanta 57.78
4 Toronto 64.78 9 LA/Orange Co. 57.62
5 New York Metro 63.44 10 Ottawa 57.34


To download the report, click here.

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 2020 revenue). The company has more than 100,000 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