Tampa tech labor pool growing at a fast pace, report shows

July 21, 2017

    Margie Manning | Tampa Bay Business Journal   The technology labor pool in the Tampa metro area is growing at a faster pace than nearly every other community in the United States.   The Tampa metro added 16,140 tech workers between 2011 and 2016, a 55.3 percent increase that brought the total tech workforce in the metro market to 45,340 people at the end of 2016, according to the CBRE Tech Talent Scorecard, an annual ranking for 50 U.S. and Canadian markets by their ability to attract and grow technology talent.   Only Charlotte, North Carolina grew at a faster pace, with a 77.1 percent increase in its tech labor pool and a total of 49,830 tech workers at the end of 2016.   Technology jobs are key as companies from all industries expand their innovation capabilities to satisfy changing customer and consumer demands, the CBRE report said. Innovation also increases productivity and strengthens the economy, the report said.   Strong demand for talent with specific skills, such as software development, coupled with a tight labor supply, drives companies to locate in markets with the largest concentration of high quality talent, CBRE said.   “The fight for tech talent is putting Tampa on the radar for many companies, because it’s leading in key areas like quality of life, pro-business climate, and population growth, where Tampa Bay ranks fourth in the nation,” Bill Obregon, senior vice president, CBRE, said in a press release.   The size and growth of the labor pool in the Tampa metro area, relatively low wages compared to other markets and an increasing population of millennials combined to put Tampa in the No. 27 spot among the 50 cities on the 2017 scorecard. While Tampa is in the bottom half of the 50-city survey, much of the top half is dominated by large markets, each with a tech labor pool or more than 50,000 workers, CBRE said.   Tampa also is among the metro areas with a “brain gain,” with 10,000 more tech jobs than graduates in technology fields during the past five years.   In addition, the population of millennials in their 20s in the city of Tampa grew by 6.3 percent since 2010, compared to the U.S. national average of 4.6 percent. Tampa’s millennial population grew faster than in markets such as Austin, Texas and New York, but lagged markets such as Pittsburgh, Seattle and Orlando, among others.   The greatest cost for companies in tech talent markets is employee wages, and Tampa’s labor costs are relatively low, according to the report. The average wage for all types of tech talent in Tampa is $78,434, or 15 percent below the national average. Average annual wages in Tampa range from $145,440 for computer and information systems managers to $68,996 for computer support, database and systems positions.   See the entire CBRE report here.