San Francisco is the top city for tech occupiers in North America, according to a new survey, followed by Toronto, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.

Cushman & Wakefield analyzed 46 tech cities to evaluate the talent availability and cost, office real estate and business environments against 14 key factors. The firm found that talent is a "critical resource" through which occupiers evaluate possible locations, and the San Francisco Bay Area leads North America on that metric with approximately 280,000 tech jobs, followed by New York with 259,000 jobs and Washington, D.C. with 216,000 jobs.

But San Francisco is also the highest cost market in North America for tech talent: data scientists on average have a base salary of $90,000, a number that reaches above $150,000 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Cushman experts say markets in the Sun Belt offer savings compared to major US tech hubs, as do Canadian markets. And when it comes to real estate costs, which are highest in traditional gateway markets, Cushman & Wakefield analysts say secondary markets in the Midwest such as Kansas City, Cincinnati and St. Louis will continue to be attractive alternatives.

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