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Vancouver, Austin lead high-tech job growth across North America: CBRE

Commercial real estate services firm has Vancouver and Austin neck-and-neck in terms of growth, according to new report
Amazon occupied the old Canada Post building. | Rob Kruyt

Vancouver and Austin, Texas led job growth in the high-tech space in North America between 2021 and 2022, according to CBRE.

CBRE’s Tech-30 report analyzes the high-tech sector’s impact on commercial real estate. Both Vancouver and Austin saw tech sector employment grow by 26 per cent over the two-year period.

“Vancouver’s 26.3 per cent growth in tech industry jobs in 2021 and 2022 was the only Canadian market to exceed the national high-tech job growth rate average of 15.7 per cent in 2020 and 2021,” the CBRE reports.

The report notes that Vancouver had $402 million of venture capital invested across all industries in the first half of 2023, of which 19 per cent went to technology companies.

“Vancouver’s tech industry workforce of 76,300 amounts to 30.2 per cent of all office-using employment in the city, the fourth highest among the Tech-30,” CBRE notes.

Vancouver’s Broadway Corridor had the second highest “net absorption growth” of all tech submarkets between the third quarter of 2021 and second quarter of 2023, at 7.9 per cent, the report says.

“Net absorption, a proxy for office demand, measures the net amount of space newly occupied against that newly vacated.”

The report notes that overall in North America, "mass layoffs across major technology companies in 2022 slowed tech industry employment growth, but it remained positive and is showing signs of rebounding."

The report places Vancouver along with Boston, Salt Lake City, New York and Charlotte, North Carolina as the North American cities that are most “resilient and positioned for renewed growth.”

(Editor's note: The description of the CBRE acronym in the original story has been corrected. Also, the CBRE's numbers for venture capital investment in tech companies -- which the CBRE had reversed in a press release -- have been corrected.)

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