Phoenix tied San Francisco for the best high-tech job growth among major North American markets over the past two years, according to a new report from commercial real estate group CBRE.
The report shows the Phoenix added 12,662 new high-tech jobs from 2012 to 2014. That is a 42.7 percent increase for the Valley’s tech sector, tying San Francisco for the top spot among the 30 largest North American markets. In terms of percentage growth, Phoenix had a higher rate than the likes of Austin (33 percent), Silicon Valley (27 percent), New York (22.6 percent) and Seattle (18.3 percent).
Phoenix also added more overall tech jobs than Chicago (10,192), Austin (9,313), Boston (7,755), Los Angeles (3,799 and Dallas (8,193) over the two-year time frame.
Still, Phoenix’s total employment base (42,304) is smaller than larger U.S. technology hubs. And much of the Valley’s new technology jobs have been in sales and back-office positions rather than software developers and engineers.
The Valley ranks 14th when it comes to total tech employment on CBRE’s list.
There are a combined 215,436 techies working in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley markets.
Seattle is next with 121,672 tech workers.
Dallas’ technology workforce is double the sector’s employment footprint in Phoenix. Still, the growth rates are welcomed by the real estate and technology sectors. “The Valley has a growing, young and educated workforce, and an office market that’s attractively priced when compared to our competitors,” said Kevin Calihan, senior vice president with CBRE’s Phoenix office.
Phoenix’s office rents for high-tech firms are not growing at the same pace as other markets. Metro Phoenix ranks 20th in commercial rental growth rates, according to CBRE.
Valley office rents are up 8.3 percent from 2013 to 2015. That compares with a 30.7 percent jump in San Francisco and 28.1 percent in Silicon Valley.
Office rents average $22 per square foot in Phoenix. That compares to higher rents in San Francisco ($68), Seattle ($32), New York ($69) and Silicon Valley ($49), according to CBRE data.
Tempe shows up on CBRE’s list of top high-tech submarkets nationally.
By: Mike Sunnucks