Canada’s tech sector is growing, there’s no doubt about that. How much it is growing depends on who you ask.
Or to be more precise, how those people that you ask – three different research studies published at some point this year – use Statistics Canada’s data to represent jobs in the tech sector. Every one of the four research reports that appear in this map agree that Canadian firms are hiring more workers in the tech sector. Here’s the four sources of data you can explore in our customized Google Map below:
Layer 1) JLL Technology Outlook 2016 Canada – leasing deals
Layer 2) Same JLL report – employment growth
Layer 3) Brookfield Institute, The State of Canada’s Tech Sector 2016
Layer 4) CBRE Scoring Tech Talent 2016
Aside from the top layer that shows the biggest office leasing deals made in the tech industry for 2016, the other three layers all show growth in tech jobs for 2016. But each one reports on this growth differently. For example, the number of tech jobs available in Montreal for 2016 are 87,433 according to JLL; 112,900 according to CBRE, and 222,200 according to Brookfield.
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Detailed data layers breakdown
The first two layers, showing tech sector job growth since 2001 and the biggest lease transactions made in the past year, is from JLL Research’s Technology Outlook 2016 Canada report. Jones Lange LaSalle Inc. is a professional services and investment management firm with a specialization in real estate. Its research arm is staffed with 415 researchers and Toronto-based research manager Thomas Farr is the contact listed on this report.
The report lacks a methodology section, but cites JLL Research and Statistics Canada for its data.
The third layer, showing concentration of tech sector employment, is from The State of Canada’s Tech Sector, 2016 by Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Explained in a methodology section, the data is from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey and analyzed by Brookfield to produce the city-by-city breakdown of employment.
In a detailed methodological breakdown, Brookfield explains that it used four main criteria to classify an occupation as a “tech sector” occupation. That included 1) Use of STEM knowledge base to perform duties 2) Engaged in R&D 3) Strong understanding and use of high-tech 4) Highly engaged in the production of high-tech outputs. If an occupation meets at least three out of four of these criteria, Brookfield considers it a tech sector job.
Layer four represents data from CBRE Research and its report released in early November. This report ranked 10 cities across Canada by a score that is an aggregate of 13 different metrics that represent employment, education, tech industry outlook and real estate market outlook. The metrics are weighted in importance to companies that are seeking tech talent, for example favouring tech labour costs over tenant rent. The most-weighted metric is what percentage of total employment that tech represents. CBRE also used Statistics Canada data on tech talent, using its definition of four job classes ranging form software developers and programmers to computer support and database systems workers, which are highly concentrated in the high-tech industry.
We’d like to continue to develop this map with new data sources and new indicators of tech sector growth in Canada. If you have data you want to share with us, let us know in the comments below or tweet @brianjjackson.