NEWARK — Newark moved up six places to 13th in an annual ranking of the top 50 U.S. markets for attracting and growing tech talent.
The boost in the rankings is thanks in part to an average tech salary that rose to $107,000 in 2016, according to the global real estate firm CBRE.
The so-called Tech Talent Scorecard ranks cities or urban areas based on 13 criteria including outlook for tech job growth and growth in office and apartment rentals.
The top 10 markets were the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Toronto, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Austin, Boston and Dallas/Ft. Worth.
Newark, home to New Jersey Institute of Technology, a Rutgers University campus, and other academic institutions, jumped from 19th to 13th, just behind Denver and ahead of Orange County, Calif. Newark was the only New Jersey market included in the ranking.
In terms of pay, Newark ranked fifth out of the 50 markets for average tech talent wage in 2016, at $107,612, which was up 11 percent since 2011, CBRE reported.
The New York Metro Area, which includes the New York City, Long Island and Newark tech markets, was the top region in the nation for tech degree completions between 2014 and 2015, with 14,419, according to CBRE.
And in terms of office rents, the company said Newark’s average increased 3 percent, to $25.74 per square foot, from 2012 to 2017. CBRE said the increasing rents were a sign of growing demand for space, though Newark remained a much cheaper place to do business than, for example, the New York City market.
Newark’s improvement in the annual tech ranking is consistent with efforts by the administration of Mayor Ras Baraka to boost overall growth and prosperity by transforming Brick City into cyber city.
The effort includes Newark Fiber, a public-private venture providing high-speed, low-cost internet access to commercial buildings and their tenants; a plan to install up to 50 wifi and digital messaging kiosks on city streets; and the opening of tech centers to provide youth and adults with digital skills.
Baraka issued a statement saying he was “delighted but not surprised” by the Newark’s advance in the rankings.
“The Scorecard reflects the success of Newark’s conscious strategy to become a national technology center,” Baraka stated. “Wages for technology jobs are rising because our growing tech sector has continued to increase hiring. Our fastest-in-the-nation internet, technology incubators such as Newark Venture Partners, available affordable office space, top-notch research colleges and universities are all contributing to the city’s emergence as an East Coast Silicon Valley.”
The scorecard has been released for each of the past five years by Los Angeles-based CBRE, which provides real estate management and other services in markets worldwide, including all of those ranked in the scorecard. In Newark, for example, CBRE manages 2 Gateway Center.