No city has added more tech jobs in the last two years than Seattle, according to a new report, as companies from San Francisco and other hubs continue to flock to the Pacific Northwest to take advantage of its top-tier talent.
The report from real estate company CBRE measures how the tech industry has transformed office markets around the country. The Seattle area added a combined 33,803 tech jobs in 2017 and 2016, for a growth rate of 25.7 percent. 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.
The report ranks the nation’s top 30 tech markets as well as the “next 10” markets to watch. Access to tech talent is a huge part of Amazon’s decision-making process for HQ2, and Columbus, Ohio, was the only finalist city not to appear in the report.
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 the report except San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
The growth in Seattle’s tech industry has juiced its office market. 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, according to the report. Out-of-town companies played an important factor as well, with San Francisco-area companies like Google and Facebook responsible for 3.5 million square of leasing during that period.
Seattle’s office rent growth is fourth-highest of the markets in the report at 13.9 percent over the last two years. 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.
Tech companies looking for big chunks of space in Seattle these days are low on options, however that should change soon. According to the report, there is 5.6 million square feet of office space under construction in the region, the third highest among the markets listed, behind only New York and Washington D.C. Companies around the region are offering 2 million square of their own space for rent as well.