DFW Is a Top 10 Market for High-Tech Software Job Growth, Per CBRE’s Tech 30 Report

The report puts Dallas-Fort Worth at No. 8 for job growth in high-tech software and services, with an increase rate of 12.7 percent for the past two years.

Dallas-Fort Worth is a top-growth tech city, ranking as one of the top markets that have experienced considerable technology growth over the past decade, according to CBRE.

The Dallas-based commercial real estate services and investment firm recently released its Tech-30 report to measure the impact the industry has had on the office market in the U.S. and Canada.

The overall verdict? The tech industry is ever more essential in a post-COVID world—and it’s “powering the early-stage office market recovery.”

CBRE describes the Tech-30 as markets that are driven by rapid innovation to boost productivity and advance digital lifestyles. Overall, the tech industry has contributed 1.6 million jobs since 2010, and 219,000 since just last year.

The report notes that high-tech employment made a fast rebound after taking a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. These jobs “proved resilient,” CBRE says, as they supported most markets ranked in the Tech-30.

How Dallas-Fort Worth fares

The report puts Dallas-Fort Worth at No. 8 for job growth in high-tech software and services, with an increase rate of 12.7 percent for the past two years (2019 and 2020). In comparison, the region saw a 10.7 percent increase from 2017 and 2018.

That amounts to 13,692 new high-tech jobs in DFW for the current period and 7,731 for 2017 and 2018.

DFW was one of only 11 markets that had the same or faster growth in those two periods.

Toronto leads the way in Tech-30 markets for job growth in 2019 and 2020 with a 26.4 percent increase, followed by Seattle (22 percent), Vancouver (21 percent), New York (18 percent), and Austin (16 percent).

However, DFW saw a 1.5 percent decrease in total building inventory from Q3 of 2019 to Q2 of 2021.

Key takeaways

CBRE reports that the Tech-30 markets’ aggregated growth for high-tech software and services jobs outperformed the U.S. average over the past two years, with 11.3 percent versus 7.5 percent, respectively.

Among these markets, 19 exceeded the country’s high-tech job growth rate of 7.5 percent. Dallas-Fort Worth was one of those.

“High-tech industry growth prospects remain strong as beneficial pandemic induced business trends are expected to endure and accelerate economic transformation,” the report says. “Tech-30 markets and their most tech-concentrated submarkets will benefit from tech industry growth trends that likely will be least affected by evolving remote and hybrid work arrangements.

“Tech jobs have surpassed pre-pandemic highs and future growth is expected to outpace many other office-using industries.”

When aggregated, the Tech-30 markets saw average office rents stabilize in the top tech submarkets, CBRE says. Aggregated sublease space availability has increased by 90 percent since March 2020. 

CBRE reports that tech companies are the cause of 23 percent of the 134 million square feet of sublease space that’s currently available. The most at-risk market is San Francisco, distantly trailed by Seattle, Austin, and Chicago.

When combining tech job momentum, office market performance, and demand recovery among the Tech-30, CBRE ranks Charlotte as the top market poised for growth.

And, though the tech industry has improved in diversity over the past five years, it still remains mostly male (only 33 percent of employees are female). CBRE’s data also shows that Hispanic, Black, and other races are still underrepresented in tech.

Hispanic, Black, and other races account for only 17.8 percent of the industry workforce, compared to 61.1 percent of white people. Asian people account for 21.1 percent.

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