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Vancouver climbs one spot to No. 11 tech hub in North America: CBRE

Annual report finds city still lagging behind in terms of diversity
Centre for Digital Media on Great Northern Way in Vancouver | Photo: Chung Chow, BIV

Vancouver is maintaining its upwards trajectory as a go-to tech hub in North America, according to new rankings from CBRE Group Inc.

The 2021 Scoring Tech Talent report, released Tuesday, found the West Coast city pegged as the No. 11 city for the tech sector in the continent.

That’s up from No. 12 a year earlier, but not quite the same surge Vancouver experienced in 2019 when it shot up 13 spots.

The report found the number of tech workers in the region grew to 91,200 — up from 84,900 workers based in the city last year.

In all, the region created 24,200 new tech jobs from 2016-20 all the while delivering 12,944 new tech degrees from 2015-19.

CBRE included Vancouver among “top tech talent job creators” such as Seattle (No. 2) and Montreal (No. 16).

“Due in part to exchange rates, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Waterloo provide the best value when it comes to cost and quality,” the report stated, alluding to the relatively low annual salaries paid to employees compared with major American tech hubs.

While the average tech worker in Vancouver earned US$66,485 last year — the fourth-lowest in the 50-city rankings — the same worker in Seattle would have earned nearly double that at US$126,730.

Toronto tech workers, meanwhile, brought in US$66,827 while someone based in the San Francisco-Bay Area earned US$144,370.

Vancouver continues to lag behind in terms of diversity with men making up 73% of the city’s tech talent pool compared with 27% women.

People in the tech sector who were identified as white made up 54% of workers, while those of Asian descent made up 42%. Those identified as Hispanic (2%), Black (1%) and other (1%) made up the remainder. 

The top 10 tech hubs in North America, of which Vancouver was just edged out of, are as follows:

1.     San Francisco-Bay Area

2.     Seattle

3.     Washington, D.C.

4.     Toronto

5.     New York Metro

6.     Boston

7.     Austin

8.     Atlanta

9.     Los Angeles/Orange County

10.  Ottawa

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