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Report: Indy ranks fifth in tech-job growth

November 4, 2016

Indianapolis saw tech jobs grow nearly 30 percent between 2013 and 2015, according to a new report from real estate tracking firm CBRE, the fifth-highest rank among the 30 cities surveyed.

In the firm's annual "Tech Thirty Report"—which is based on U.S. Department of Labor statistics and the firm's proprietary research—the tech labor pool in the metropolitan area expanded by 27.9 percent, or 5,423 jobs, over that two-year span, accounting for just over one-third of new office jobs.

That's an improvement from the two-year period between 2012 and 2014, when tech jobs grew by 25.7 percent, accounting for about one-tenth of new office jobs. The 2015 Tech Thirty report, which initially pegged that 2012-2014 growth rate at 18 percent using a different methodology, ranked Indianapolis eighth among the cities surveyed.

The figures are a testament to the Indianapolis area's fast-growing technology cluster—which received a big momentum boost from the $2.5 billion sale of software firm ExactTarget to Salesforce.com in 2013. Not only did the acquisition prompt former employees to lend their skills and newfound cash to new and emerging companies, but it also attracted a number of out-of-town tech firms here to capitalize on the talent base.

Also strengthening the tech community locally are groups, including the Orr Fellowship and TechPoint, that recruit college students from Indiana and elsewhere to help bolster the pipeline of young talent.

"Venture capitalists and tech companies are warming up to the Midwest by opening offices and relocating to the region from other states," John Vandenbark, senior vice president at CBRE's Indianapolis office, said in a written statement. "Growth in the high-tech industry should continue, with the state of Indiana recently announcing a $1 billion, 10-year entrepreneurship investment initiative focused on technology."

CBRE said high-tech software and services jobs include computer-systems design and related services, software publishers, and data processing, among other occupations

The real estate firm said there were 24,831 such jobs in Indianapolis in 2015, compared with 49,303 in Phoenix and 42,861 in Austin—two other fast-growing tech hubs. Silicon Valley boasted nearly 135,114 such jobs.

Office rent rates in Indianapolis grew 5 percent between the second quarter of 2014 and the second quarter of 2016, up from 4 percent over the same period ending in 2015's second quarter.

But those rates are well below what other fast-growing tech hubs have posted. Austin, for instance, saw office rates jump 15.3 percent.

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