Bubble chart of top cities based on tech job growth and tech salaries

Top North American Cities for Tech Jobs

I read a recent TechVibes article about Canada’s ascendance in the technology market and thought that a bubble chart would be a great way to showcase some of the data. I knew that Toronto was a popular startup destination, but I was not aware that it's a Top 5 market for tech talent. It’s the 4th largest, based on the total number of technology jobs, according to the CBRE Scoring Tech Talent in North America 2018 report referenced in the article.

Bubble Chart

I created this bubble chart using data from the CBRE report to show the top cities in the following  quadrants based on the growth in technology jobs and the average technology salary:

• High Growth, High Cost: San Francisco Bay Area
• High Growth, Low Cost: Toronto, Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, Austin, Montreal
• Low Growth, High Cost: Boston, Washington DC, New York, Seattle
• Low Growth, Low Cost: Minneapolis, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Phoenix

While I expected U.S. cities like Atlanta and Austin to be high growth and lower cost, it was interesting to see Toronto and Montreal in the same quadrant. Perhaps even more surpising was that Toronto was the largest of the high growth, low cost cities.

Bubble chart of top cities based on tech job growth and average tech salary

How I Created This Bubble Chart

  • First, I created an Excel spreadsheet with the cities as rows and 3 columns for variables (market growth, average salary, total number of jobs) for each city.
  • Next, I inserted a bubble chart into a PowerPoint slide.
  • To get the data into the chart, I copied it from Excel and pasted it into the data sheet.
  • To improve the distribution of the bubbles, I changed the scale of the Y axis.  I chose Axes in the Mekko Graphics ribbon, and selected Manual and added minimum and maximum values on the Y axis tab.
  • Because Boston and Washington, D.C. both lost jobs, I added an X axis break (by right clicking on the axis and selecting Insert Axis Break) to improve the distribution of bubbles. I resized the axis break by dragging the yellow lines surrounding it on the chart.
  • Using Format Axes, I added titles for the Y axis, X axis and the Reference Bubble. I also formatted the values for the Y axis (shown in $) and the X axis (shown as a percentage).
  • Instead of using manual text boxes to describe each quadrant on the chart, I included the description of the group (e.g. High Growth, Low Cost) in the Group column of the chart data sheet. I used the group to color the chart and in a legend.
  • I added a legend to the chart by choosing Legend in the Mekko Graphics ribbon.
  • Under Format Chart, I checked the boxes on the General tab to show the quadrant lines in the charts.
  • Finally, I adjusted some of the labels with city names to make them easier to read. I dragged those that were too large to fit in the bubble, making them annotated labels.

Take this Chart and Make it Your Own

Download this bubble chart and edit it using Mekko Graphics. Visit our chart gallery to view more bubble charts or check out these posts that may be of interest.

Top 10 Creative Cities
Ten Worst U.S. Traffic Corridors
Harvard MBA Job Distribution