Waterloo Region tops CBRE list of up-and-coming places for tech talent in North America

Waterloo Region has been listed among the best up-and-coming places for tech talent in North America by CBRE. Ahmad Fareed Kahn / Global News

Waterloo Region has been named atop a new list of North American cities with the ability to attract tech talent.

Commercial real estate services firm CBRE’s Next 25 list ranked cities based on eight criteria, including tech employment, growth, wages and education.

The report says the region’s tech talent pool now stands at 22,400 people, a 51 per cent rise just in the past five years alone.

The average wage stands at a relatively small $65,946 compared to several other locales on the list.

Quebec City (6), Edmonton (9), Halifax (11) and Winnipeg (22) all managed to crack the top 25.

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The Next 25 was part of a larger survey conducted by CBRE, which looked at the top tech labour talent pools in Canada and the U.S.

Toronto fell one spot to No. 4 in the rankings, which looked at 50 cities using certain attributes such as tech-talent supply, cost of living, educational degrees and real estate prices.

Vancouver retained its No. 12 position in the rankings, Ottawa jumped five spots to No. 14, Montreal dropped three levels to No. 16 and Calgary made its debut in the Top 50 at No. 34.

CBRE said Toronto gained 66,900, or 36.5 per cent, more tech jobs over the past five years, the second-most after the Bay Area over that time frame.

The report says the average tech worker salary in Toronto rose by 11.2 per cent to $84,986, keeping it a much more affordable market for talent than many U.S. cities it studied.

— With files from the Canadian Press

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