News   Jun 14, 2024
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Toronto Tech Boom

Critical mass anyone?

Apparently Toronto-Waterloo as a cluster will surpass the Bay Area as the largest tech. hub by employment in 2023.

Star article (paywalled)


From the above:

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The tech layoffs seem to be hitting SFO hard. Will be interesting to see the numbers next year.
 
Something I'm very concerned about is the portion of the business we (as a region) are picking up due entirely to a lower wage structure than the Bay area.

To be clear, tech folks in Cali, and likewise in our local region are all (or at least mostly) making orders more than the minimum wage. Yet, I feel the difference in the latter, between the two regions
is a very good benchmark for the difference in median wages in the tech. sector.

I'm admittedly cherry picking the highest minimum wage I could find for effect...........to start......

Mountainview, California, which is btw SF and SanJose..........

$18.50USD per hour, or $24.60CAD is the minimum wage

But even SF which is not second highest, btw, is $16.99 USD per hour or $23.03CAD per hour

If you went median wage to median wage, in the the tech sector, you'd see a pretty similar difference.

The problem here is that we're 'winning' by being the Walmart of the sector........just wait til we face our Dollarama.
 
I don't think you can use the exchange rate when discussing differences in wage. In fact, you can't do that because all of their expenses are also in USD.

It's the ratio between average/median wage to some average basket of goods or property prices that really matters. How do we fare on that measure?
 
I don't think you can use the exchange rate when discussing differences in wage. In fact, you can't do that because all of their expenses are also in USD.

It's the ratio between average/median wage to some average basket of goods or property prices that really matters. How do we fare on that measure?

Well, we're going to differ a bit here.

As a tech giant in The Bay Area, looking at shifting jobs to Toronto, I don't really care what someone's weekly grocery bill or rent is; I simply care what I, as an employer pay out.

That is a straight-line number, salary is 'x' $CAD vs 'x' USD.

Purchasing Power Parity is irrelevant, except maybe in commercial office rent per ft2. Even then, the absolute measurement is what matters. If the software/service will still be sold to the same global marketplace there is no
impact on the Top Line, only on the Bottom line.

That said, here's the Numbeo comparison anyway for both cost-of-living and for average salary (not industry specific). Note that Numbeo is always off a bit as a great deal of their data is crowd-sourced.


For industry specific, actual data is hard to come by (as opposed to media generalizations); so take the data w/a grain of salt:

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From: https://www.prepareforcanada.com/be...or-software-engineer-jobs-salaries-in-canada/


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from: https://www.builtinsf.com/salaries/dev-engineer/software-engineer/san-francisco

Both numbers above are stated in local currency and not-PPP adjusted.
 
As a tech giant in The Bay Area, looking at shifting jobs to Toronto, I don't really care what someone's weekly grocery bill or rent is; I simply care what I, as an employer pay out.
That's not what I meant. I was referring to the straight up SF vs Toronto min wage comparison. It's not appropriate to use the exchange rate if we're talking about affordability for individuals and earning in the local currencies.
 
That's not what I meant. I was referring to the straight up SF vs Toronto min wage comparison. It's not appropriate to use the exchange rate if we're talking about affordability for individuals and earning in the local currencies.

Not sure I agree, again.

The argument here is whether raising the minimum wage locally would make us less competitive. That's about an international cost for labour proposition, not about what that money buys.

Clearly, $16.99USD is a much larger expense to a company than is $15.50CAD. Purchasing Power Parity simply doesn't enter into that.

But, if you want to use that then the minimum wages are somewhat comparable, when looking at the City proper *

* Note that SF as with so many U.S. regions is a plethora of urban fiefdoms with wild levels of inequity and therefore cost of living

SF will read as ~50% more expensive than Toronto, with a minimum wage also about 50% higher.

But I will then counter by noting that Seattle has a cost of living only ~20% greater than Toronto


But its minimum wage is $17.27USD or $23.19CAD per hour which is ~50% higher.
 
The tech layoffs seem to be hitting SFO hard. Will be interesting to see the numbers next year.
As long as you have a skill or ability to make/save the company revenue/time any laid off tech workers in Toronto should be able to find work. There’s a huge move in the US of tech workers moving to healthcare systems, for example. I get the sense though that a lot of tech firms are bloated with under utilized/productive staff.

Though I’ve never worked in information technology, an industry where market cap seems more important than returning a profit. I’ve always preferred manufactured goods, something tangible in my hands, that I can design, produce and sell around the world.
 
Interesting- I wonder how this stacks up to Canadian emigration to the US? Perhaps this is evident of uneven visa policies (Canada is easier for international graduates, the US is easier for Canadian citizens)?

Nearly 40,000 foreign-born graduates of U.S. universities were recruited to Canada from 2017 to 2021, according to an analysis by the Niskanen Center, a Washington think tank that advocates for immigration reform.
 
Interesting- I wonder how this stacks up to Canadian emigration to the US? Perhaps this is evident of uneven visa policies (Canada is easier for international graduates, the US is easier for Canadian citizens)?



From the above, I've find this statistic stunning.........even w/our runaway foreign student growth in Canada.......

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80%!!!

Nothing wrong with providing excellent training to excellent students, but surely it beggars a question about whether the domestic student population is being well served?

One wonders if there are a shortage of domestic applicants, and/or a shortage of qualified applicants, how does that reflect on the feeder school system, and is tuition a significant barrier.
 
Seems like there are waves of layoffs and belt-tightening in the tech industry over the last year or so.

They're looking less like the employment unicorns prospective cities were pinning their hopes on, and perhaps more of reflective of the flash-in-the-pan economic conditions of the 2010s decade. With Silicon Valley fully racing into AI, I wonder if these rounds of cuts will continue into the future?

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