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How have mass layoffs impacted tech workforce counts in Philly and beyond?

Philadelphia maintained its #22 spot in CBRE's annual report ranking tech talent hubs across North America. Plus: Here's how much the average local technologist makes per year.

Philly. (Photo by Flickr user R'lyeh Imaging, used under a Creative Commons license)

Amid (say it with us) economic uncertainty and mass tech layoffs, Philly remains on par with other large tech talent markets, according to CBRE.

The national real estate services firm’s 2023 Scoring Tech Talent Report ranks Philadelphia #22 in tech talent, the same position it held in 2022 and a boost from #26 in 2021. The report looks at 75 North American markets and ranks the top 50 in the United States and Canada.

The top-line stat: Philadelphia’s tech talent workforce counts 108,630 people, representing an increase of about 7% from 2017 to 2022. Yet that’s a decrease from last year’s count of 115,450 tech jobs.

“Philadelphia’s tech talent growth has kept pace with peer cities nationally despite a pullback by a few large tech talent employers,” CBRE EVP Scott Miller said in a statement. (Locally, tech layoffs came from the likes of venture-backed companies Gopuff, dbt Labs and Misfits Market.) “Our strong educational institutions, favorable cost of living and ease of commuting has allowed Philadelphia to maintain its reputation as a key player in the tech market. The prominence of tech talent within the region has spawned promising new tech companies such as Mural Health and Korio. We expect this trend to continue in both the short and long term.”

Mural Health and Korio are both recently launched clinical trial tech companies.

According to the report, the top five industries employing tech talent in the region are “core high-tech” (such as computer software services), manufacturing, professional services, FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) and education.

Some other stats informing Philly’s ranking:

  • $105,161 — The average Philly tech worker’ salary, up 17% over the previous five years
  • 6,178 — Number of graduates with tech degrees came out of Philadelphia in 2021
  • 31,108 vs. 25,740 — The number of people graduating with tech degrees from the region compared to the number of local tech jobs over roughly the same five-year period
  • 48,390 — The number of computer, support database and systems jobs in Philadelphia, which accounts for 44.5% of all tech jobs

Also of note: Philly sits in the top 10 large tech talent markets for growth of population of people in their 30s, which is an important demographic for tech talent. And, because CBRE is a real estate services firm, it tells us Philly has the 18th most expensive annual office asking rent, as well as the 15th highest ratio of tech-salary-to-apartment rent.

Nationally, the number of tech talent workers in the United States increased 7.3% from May 2021 to May 2022. Software developers and programmers made up 60% of the new tech talent between 2020 and 2022.

Overall, tech talent made up a significant portion of layoffs in 2022 — 30% of the 700,000 workforce layoffs globally by US-based employers, according to the report. Tech job postings also declined in 2022. Remote work job postings increased, though the number of employees working from home has decreased since 2021.

See the report Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2024 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
Companies: CBRE

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