CBRE Report identifies Salt Lake City and Provo as “new cities of finance”

Salt Lake City – October 18, 2016 – The U.S. financial services industry, faced with heightened regulations and competition for skilled labor from technology companies, increasingly is finding the workers it needs by expanding to cities like Salt Lake City, according to a new report from CBRE Group, Inc.

In its inaugural annual report on the financial services industry, CBRE examines markets across the U.S. for their availability and cost of highly skilled workers, particularly those with technology backgrounds.

CBRE found that less expensive, “active” markets have posted significant growth in financial services employment since 2010. The “active” markets that have above-average growth in financial-services employment, according to the CBRE report, are:

  • San Antonio, TX
  • Columbus, OH
  • Nashville, TN
  • Phoenix,AZ
  • Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Tampa, FL
  • Richmond, VA
  • Charlotte, NC

“New economic realities, continued regulatory pressure and the threat of technology disruption are unrelenting forces driving changes in the financial services industry,” said Julie Whelan, CBRE’s Head of Occupier Research in the Americas. “Firms are shaping their real-estate strategy in response to these trends and a number of ‘new cities of finance’ are emerging across the U.S.” Scott Wilmarth, Executive Vice President in the Salt Lake office of CBRE added, “Finance is turbo-charging growth in the greater Salt Lake City market, and this growth has been good for the local economy.

Of the total employee base in Salt Lake City, roughly 10 percent work in CBRE Press Release financial activities. In an economy as diverse as Utah’s—our economy is consistently ranked one of the top most diverse in the nation, often ranking #1 —this 10 percent total is significant.

Anything that impacts the greater finance industry has the potential to moderately impact our local economy. As national shifts continue to evolve, and commercial markets respond to these new economic realities, Salt Lake’s finance market will continue to expand, undergoing a financial transformation of its own.”
The report further identifies five “next-generation” markets that, according to proprietary analysis by CBRE’s Labor Analytics group, offer affordable real estate and expanding pools of skilled labor even though the financial-services industry has, as yet, as smaller footprint in each. Included among those are Provo, Utah and Boise, Idaho.

Based on CBRE’s examination of skilled-labor availability, labor costs, real-estate costs, market education levels and other factors, many of these active and next-generation markets scored highly as ideal recruiting and employment centers for the types of workers sought by the industry.

  • Salt Lake City, Tampa, San Antonio, Phoenix and Columbus rank highly among cities offering the best mix of labor availability and cost for shared services jobs, which include back-office roles such as accounting, human resources, legal and finance.
  • Columbus, Charlotte and Phoenix rank as ideal recruiting grounds for risk and compliance workers, such as quantitative analysts, mathematicians and compliance officers.
  • Provo, Salt Lake City and Charlotte are among those atop the list of cities providing a balance of labor availability and cost for financial-services technology jobs such as software developers, web developers and information-security analysts.

“Financial services companies are continuing to seek out new and emerging locations that provide them with access to talent at affordable rates,” said Kristin Sexton, CBRE’s Managing
Director of Labor Analytics. “Labor is the driving force behind the growth of the financial services industry in these smaller, ‘active’ markets.”

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CBRE Tue, 10/18/2016 - 14:25