Top Metro Areas for IT Workforce

by Josh Bays, on Apr 25, 2017 4:33:04 PM

In this age of information technology, employers are feeling the strains of a tight labor market as they struggle to staff their IT operations with technical talent. As the national workforce responds to this demand, the Bureau of Labor

Statistics recently listed both software developers and computer systems analysts as two occupations with the most expected job growth from 2014 to 2024. Site Selection Group, a full-service location advisory and economic incentives firm, helps companies find the optimal location for their operations based on key workforce availability, quality and cost metrics. Site Selection Group recently completed a proactive national workforce study that assesses key information technology occupations.


Certain metros to see nearly 20% growth over next five years in IT occupations

On average, the fastest-growing metro areas with a population over 250,000 are projected to experience an increase in their information technology occupation cluster by nearly 20% over the next five years. The table below shows the top metro areas that are expected to experience the highest growth rate in the information technology occupation cluster.


Of these communities, Naples, Florida, has the highest projected growth of 19.1%. On the other side of the country, Provo, Utah, is expected to experience the same high growth even though it already has a high percentage of the current labor force employed in IT occupations (4.4%).


Top Metro Areas for IT Occupation Cluster Growth

MSAs with Total Population 250,000 or More


Metro Area State Projected Growth
of IT Cluster
IT Cluster as % of
Current Labor Force
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island FL 19.10% 0.90%
Provo-Orem UT 19.00% 4.40%
Greeley CO 18.00% 0.80%
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande CA 17.10% 1.70%
Brownsville-Harlingen TX 17.10% 0.50%
Mobile AL 17.00% 1.50%
Green Bay WI 15.10% 2.40%
Port St. Lucie FL 14.70% 0.70%
Ocala FL 14.50% 0.50%
Charleston-North Charleston SC 14.10% 2.30%


East Coast metro areas show most activity in hiring IT workers

Labor demand is one of many labor supply measures Site Selection Group includes in workforce forecasting analyses. We analyzed job postings data for the IT sector to better understand which metro areas have the most hiring activity. The rankings in the table below include only metro areas with a population of at least 250,000. The higher the percentage of job postings per IT occupation cluster, the more in demand IT workers are in that metro area. 


In Hartford, for instance, the total number of job postings in the IT sector total more than 23% of all the IT workers in the area. These data suggest there is about one job posting for every five workers in the IT sector in the Hartford metro area.  The demand is similar among the remaining top metro areas.


Top Metro Areas for IT Occupation Demand

MSAs with Total Population 250,000 or More


Metro Area State Job
Postings % 
Average Unique IT
Job Postings 
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford CT 23.59% 4,719
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk CT 22.97% 2,925
Fayetteville NC 22.93% 526
Trenton NJ 21.75% 2,733
Raleigh NC 19.99% 6,292
Reading PA 18.96% 440
Atlantic City-Hammonton NJ 18.92% 360
Colorado Springs CO 18.12% 2,401
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia NC-SC 18.04% 7,136
Killeen-Temple TX 17.92% 408

 *Job Postings % is calculated by taking the number of IT job posting and dividing it by the total number of jobs in the IT cluster. Unique IT Job Postings is the unique number of IT job postings per month.


Talent pipeline is key for workforce recruitment by growing companies 

For organizations that plan to grow their IT workforce, proximity to university graduates with computer and math degrees often plays a contributing factor in site selection. The table below ranks and sorts metro areas by the number of IT-related higher education completions as a percentage of the IT workforce. A larger percentage indicates that the IT talent pipeline is being filled at a faster rate.


Gainesville, Florida, home to the University of Florida, ranks first when scoring metro areas on computer and math completions as a percentage of the total IT occupation cluster.  Other metro areas for IT talent pipeline are listed below, including Salt Lake City with nearly 2,000 graduates. During a true site selection process, these broad completion categories are customized to the client’s needs (i.e. software development versus network administration).


Top Metro Areas for IT Talent Pipeline

MSAs with Total Population 250,000 or More


Metro Area State Computer and Math
Completions as %
Computer and
Math Completions
Gainesville FL 12.54% 357
Flint MI 9.51% 289
Lubbock TX 9.15% 183
Erie PA 8.43% 95
Clarksville TN-KY 8.38% 81
Ann Arbor MI 7.91% 679
Syracuse NY 7.84% 544
Salt Lake City UT 7.40% 1,938
Salisbury MD-DE 7.26% 113
Tallahassee FL 7.01% 417

 *Computer and math completions as % of cluster is calculated by dividing computer and math higher education completions by the total number of workers in the IT occupation cluster.  Computer and math completions is calculated by the number of bachelor and graduate higher education completions last year.



Talent Pipeline


Topics:Location Advisory



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