Hamilton tech talent ranked fastest growing in Canadian mid-sized cities

A report by CBRE has listed Hamilton as having the fastest growing tech talent base from 2012 – 2017 by both volume (5,900) and growth rate (64.8%), topping other mid-sized cities including Waterloo, Edmonton, Calgary and Halifax.



Of course, Waterloo and other cities have larger total talent pools as shown in the figure below. But to be number one in growth, both in absolute and percentage terms, is very encouraging.



The report credits spillover from Toronto’s booming tech sector as a likely driver, “Irrespective of market size, recent tech job grow was strongest in markets near Toronto, which experience spillover benefits. Hamilton, Waterloo Region, Oshawa and Barrie exceeded the average Canadian tech job growth rate, which further exemplifies the benefits of clustering.”

This seems to make sense, given that Hamilton is later listed as a laggard when it comes to tech degree completions.



It’s also noteworthy that Hamilton’s tech job growth didn’t match it’s tech talent growth, suggesting many are likely still commuting out of the city for work.



If you go through the report city-by-city, it breaks down employment growth by category even further, and for “Software Developers/Programmers”, Hamilton notably had the largest percentage increase of any city, including major centres such as Toronto, at 135.3%. I’m not sure if that’s growth at companies located within the city, or growth in the number of people in the city with that job position, but either way, it’s pretty impressive.



Hamilton was ranked 9 out of 10 overall for tech talent by CBRE.

This report doesn’t tell us anything people in our tech sector don’t already know… anybody whose being paying attention has been able to see Hamilton’s tech sector has been on fire in the last 5 years.

But I hope it’s useful for letting the rest of the country know. In particular, it’s clear we’ve had a large influx of tech talent, but that much of that talent is still commuting towards Toronto. I’m sure many would like to give up that Go Train commute, hopefully some GTA firms see this as an opportunity to either open up satellite offices or move to Hamilton altogether.


The full report is available here: https://researchgateway.cbre.com/Layouts/GKCSearch/DownLoadPublicUrl.ashx


Kevin Browne

Editor of Software Hamilton.