Data centers have become an important part of commercial real estate. Demand for them is projected to double by 2030, says Newmark. Asking rents are soaring, according to a previous CBRE report.

A newer analysis from CBRE acknowledges the impact of artificial intelligence but says that is only part of the equation. "Digital infrastructure has never been more important to providing reliable connectivity for business, commerce, and communication," CBRE wrote. "Development of new data center facilities is not only accommodating advanced technologies like artificial intelligence but is also contributing to widespread economic growth."

They pointed to data from PwC claiming that data-center-related jobs increased by 20% from 2.9 million to 3.5 million between 2017 and 2021, 10 times larger than overall U.S. job growth during the same period. Given the rate of data center construction growth, it doesn't seem surprising. However, as research into information technology has shown over the years, the facilities are not job-intensive operations. Multiple locations typically can be controlled from a central facility.

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