Halifax’s Tech Sector Climbs the Rankings in CBRE’s North America’s Next 25 Tech Talent Markets

Nova Scotia’s tech industry has seen continued rapid growth over the years, and the data recently released through the 2021 CBRE Scoring Tech Talent report stands behind this. When highlighting key, up-and-coming tech markets to watch, Halifax jumped from 12th (in 2020) to 7th place within North America, outranking larger cities with double the population, such as Las Vegas, NV (16), despite our smaller tech talent workforce. Joining Halifax on the 25 up-and-coming list were fellow Canadian cities Winnipeg, MB (21), and London, ON (10).

Each year, CBRE releases their Scoring Tech Talent in North America report, where they explore which markets have the biggest tech talent pools, and where they’re seeing the biggest growth. The report highlights the top 50 markets in the U.S. and Canada, ranked according to their competitive advantages and appeal to both employers and tech talent employees, along with showcasing 25 up-and-coming North American tech talent markets.

Within the top 50 markets in North America, eight Canadian cities are featured, including bustling tech hub Toronto which held onto its #4 ranking. The report offers compelling evidence that tech-talent employment in North America weathered the pandemic better than most other professions, particularly in Canada, where tech jobs increased in six of the country’s eight major markets over the past year by an average of 16 percent.

Highly skilled Canadian tech talent workers total 1 million– from software developers who enable the devices we depend on, to systems and data managers who ensure the functionality of our tech ecosystems. Numerous indicators underscore the resilience of tech talent during the pandemic. “The past year underscored Canada’s status as a leading destination for employers seeking tech talent,” said CBRE Canada Vice Chairman Paul Morassutti. “We’ve all come to appreciate the vital role that tech plays in our lives, especially during the pandemic, but it’s also a key driver of the Canadian economy and securing tech talent has never been more essential.”

As Atlantic Canada’s largest city, Halifax’s economy has evolved from a natural resources and industrial hub to also be a hub for financial services, law practices and information technology. Ranking 8th in CBRE’s 2020 Scoring Canadian Tech Talent report, Halifax posted the largest increase in score amongst the top 10 cities. “Performing particularly well in relation to educational attainment and tech-related degrees” CBRE states, “Volta Labs will continue to play an important role in Halifax’s tech-ecosystem by supporting these new highly-skilled workers and local start-ups as they graduate into their own office space.”

At this rate, Halifax is looking like a strong competitor to join Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Waterloo region, Vancouver, and Quebec City to represent Canada in the 2022 North American Top Tech Talent Market’s list.

Quick 2020 vs 2021 Stats

Total Tech Employment (2020): 14,700 (+1,500)

Total Tech Growth (5 Years): 24% (+13%)

Total Tech Wages (2020): $55,241 USD (-$216USD)

Total Tech Wage Growth (5 Years): 9% (+4%)

Software Developer Wages (2020): $59,643 USD (+$3,590USD)

Software Developer Wage Growth (5 Years): 15.6% (+3%)

Tech Talent Degree Graduates (2019): 834 (-394)

Read the Full 2021 Report