Report: Seattle Leads Nation as Fastest Growing Tech Hub

Seattle Leads Nation as Fastest Growing Tech Hub

Silicon Valley may be the largest tech hub nationwide, but a new study has revealed Seattle leads the nation as the fastest growing tech hub. Of the nation’s top 30 tech markets around the country, a fresh report from real estate company CBRE found that no city has added more tech jobs in the last two years than Seattle, Washington.

Companies from other tech hotbeds – San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, and emerging markets in the U.S. South and Midwest – continue to flock to the Pacific Northwest to take advantage of its top-tier talent, divulged GeekWire.

Nat Levy at GeekWire tallied the numbers from the study, noting that Seattle added 33,803 tech jobs in 2017 and 2016, which amounts to a tech job growth rate of 25.7 percent.

Levy wrote:

“Seattle outpaced all other markets in terms of jobs added, with Silicon Valley ranked second at 24,971 jobs added, and growth percentage, where St. Louis came in second with a rise in tech jobs of 23.3 percent.”

Not surprisingly, Seattle’s tech job growth trend correlates with the city’s booming population growth. Over the past five years, Seattle has consistently ranked in the top five big cities for population growth. As noted by Gene Balk at The Seattle Times, data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2017 showed Seattle added more people on average each year than during the post-Gold Rush boom years. Simply put: Seattle has never grown this fast, and the city has never been this populous.

And unless Amazon stops hiring, you might as well get used to it. On the backs of local tech giants, an expanding e-commerce sector and tremendous tech job demand, Seattle looks to continue its ascent in the tech industry. Favorable market conditions will likely continue to attract top-tier talent for years to come given the ongoing demand for high paying jobs across the state.

“The Seattle area supports 165,264 high tech software and services jobs, a figure that accounts for 42 percent of all office jobs in the area. With wages of $130,915, Seattle software engineers command more than counterparts in all other markets in [CBRE’s report] except San Francisco and Silicon Valley,” Levy commented.

Fueled by explosive tech job growth, CBRE’s study also found that Seattle is experiencing an increase in its office leasing activity. Seattle has seen a 13.9 percent increase in office rent growth over the last two years, the fourth highest of the markets in CBRE’s report. In comparison to other tech hubs, Los Angeles saw a 15.8 percent increase in rent growth while Atlanta experienced 16.3 percent rent growth.

“Seattle’s homegrown tech giants were responsible for 9 million square feet of office leases over the past five years, with Amazon leading the way,” said Levy. An additional 5.6 million square feet of office space is under construction in the region – the third highest behind New York and Washington D.C. – indicating that Seattle is well positioned to maintain its growth well into the future.

“Interestingly though, the city’s top tech submarket, South Lake Union – which is home to Amazon’s headquarters, Facebook’s growing presence and Google’s new Seattle campus – only saw rent growth of 0.5 percent over the two-year period,” Levy wrote.

You can head over to the real estate company’s website to download and read the CBRE 2018 TECH-30 report in its entirety, which explores where tech tenants are clustering and how they’re impacting market fundamentals.

Derek Erwin is the Content Director at Lighter Capital, where he oversees content production and other editorial projects. Connect with him on LinkedIn.