Bay Area ranks as top U.S. tech hub

Each year, the CBRE Group gives the nation’s top 50 technology cities a score based on 13 metrics such as college degrees, tech job growth and the concentration of tech jobs in the workforce.

The top five winners: Northern California’s Bay Area, Washington D.C., Seattle, New York and Austin.

CBRE, which releases such rankings annually, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm serving owners, investors and occupiers.

However, the rankings tend to be a bit misleading.

The reason: CBRE’s research centers on computer/software-related technology jobs, such as programmers, computer technicians and engineers. It does not include life science-related jobs — where 16th-ranked San Diego, for example, has a large footprint. In addition, life science firms increasingly are requiring software engineers and other traditional tech workers for big data analysis in fields such as genomics.

A high concentration of millennials is a characteristic of tech cities, according to the report. San Diego posted a nearly 14 percent population increase in millennials from 2009 to 2014 – the latest data available.That ranked third nationally for percentage gain in cities with a tech workforce above 50,000 jobs, trailing only Washington, D.C., and the Bay Area.

San Diego had 67,590 tech workers in 2015 – up 47 percent over the previous five years. The average wage last year was $98,990, up 16.6 percent since 2010.

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune