Tech employment is soaring in the Charlotte and Triangle markets, a new report by the CBRE real estate company shows.
Charlotte added about 21,700 tech jobs between 2011-16, a 77% increase. That was the fastest growth of the 50 metro areas included in the study. It reflects considerable hiring by the city’s financial services companies, large corporations and an emerging startup scene, according to Colin Yasukochi, the CBRE analyst who authored the report. CBRE identifies about 50,000 tech workers in the city.
Raleigh-Durham remains a bigger tech market with about 60,900 workers, a total that increased 51% over the last five years.
“Tech employees typically ask how much they will be paid and do I like the quality of life in a certain city. And a lot of tech workers are saying yes to the major North Carolina cities,” Yasukochi says.
CBRE believes that tech employment is growing more quickly outside of Silicon Valley, Boston and other markets that have traditionally dominated the industry. Reasons include more available workers and lower costs of living and office rent rates.
“The rent’s too damn high” is a common complaint among Charlotte and Raleigh apartment dwellers, of course. But CBRE’s survey shows Raleigh-Durham’s average rent ranked 33rd of the 50 markets, and Charlotte 34th, at about $1,035 a month. Average rents were more than twice as expensive in New York, San Francisco, Long Island, N.Y., Los Angeles and Boston.
The report also cited rapid increases in millennial populations living in downtown areas in both markets: 12% in Charlotte and 11% in Raleigh-Durham. The U.S. average was 4.6%. (CBRE identified millennials as those aged 20 to 29.)