tech workforce talent recruitment

Colorado Springs is one of North America’s top up-and-coming tech talent markets, according to a new report from commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE.

The Pikes Peak region stood out for its fast-growing tech talent labor pool, according to CBRE’s Tech Talent Scorecard.

The scorecard is part of CBRE’s annual Scoring Tech Talent report, which ranks 50 U.S. and Canadian markets based on their ability to attract and grow tech talent.

“We have an incredible pool of highly creative engineering and design talent in Colorado Springs,” said Brad T. Bird, first vice president with CBRE in Colorado Springs. “It is an exciting market for tech with growth in cyber, software, R&D, GPS and other tech specialties.”

Colorado Springs ranked 14th among the top 25 up-and-coming tech markets in North America, according to an Aug. 1 news release.

“Notably, the Pikes Peak region has seen its tech workforce grow 14 percent over the last five years, now representing 6.2 percent of local total employment (compared to tech’s national average of 3.7 percent),” said Sara Johnston, CBRE’s communications and media manager.

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As the tech industry continues to create jobs at a faster rate than they can be filled, tech firms are looking to growing markets like Colorado Springs as an opportunity to expand their geographic reach and uncover opportunities.

Tech labor concentration — the percentage of total employment — is an influential factor in how “tech-centric” a market is, and its growth potential.

Colorado Springs has a tech talent labor pool of 17,290, or 6.2 percent of its total employment, according to the report — well above the national average of 3.7 percent. Rising wages are also helping to attract and retain tech talent.

Tech wages in Colorado Springs have increased 15 percent over the past five years to hit an annual average wage of $98,950 — the highest among the top 25 up-and-coming tech talent markets.

The top five markets overall for tech talent in 2019 were the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Toronto, Washington, D.C., and New York, all large markets with a tech labor pool of more than 50,000.

Denver ranked No. 8 in 2019 with a tech talent labor pool of 107,170. Colorado Springs did not rank among the top 50 overall tech talent markets.

Key overall takeaways in the 2019 report are these:

• More than 6 million highly skilled workers across the United States and Canada comprise the tech talent that is leading global innovation. Shrinking availability of tech talent in leading markets has spurred a spillover of hiring momentum in smaller and upstart markets as expanding tech employers seek additional labor pools.

• Overall, big markets have continued to produce the largest volumes of jobs and tech degree graduates over the past five years, but several years of low unemployment rates have dampened the momentum of many leading tech talent markets. Partly as a result, smaller “Next 25” markets have absorbed an increased amount of tech-labor demand.

• The high-tech industry has accounted for about 20 percent of major office-leasing activity in the United States since 2018 — the most of any industry. This has left little available office space in many key large markets and pushed up rents to peak levels.

• The Tech Talent Scorecard is based on 13 unique metrics, including 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. 

For more information, download the 2019 Scoring Tech Talent report.