Steve LeBlanc discusses 2016 STEM Job Growth Index on CNBC's Fast Money

June 8, 2016

Last week, our Co-Founder Steve LeBlanc appeared on CNBC’s Fast Money: Halftime Report to discuss the new driver of our economy: STEM job growth (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and its growing influence on the relocation decisions of employers today. These trends have a tremendous impact on real estate values and play a key role in our market selection criteria.

We partnered with RCLCO, one of the leading real estate research organizations in the nation, to develop the 2016 STEM Job Growth Index (“STEMdex”) as a tool to identify which markets are primed for growth in STEM-based industries. We believe these markets will continue to lead the nation in terms of job growth, increasing demand for office space.

The index measures more than just STEM job growth. Our analysis included a total of 19 different indicators in four main categories: growth, workforce quality/diversity, quality of life, and the cost of doing business. One key indicator we looked at is the percentage of college graduates in the market. "If you look at the unemployment rate among college graduates, it’s only 2.5%. It’s half the national average. That’s where the jobs are going. Steve noted in the interview. We also considered factors such as millennial migration patterns, educational quality, wages, housing affordability, walkability and traffic, to name a few.

Facing a shortage of skilled workers, companies say that a city's population of desirable workers is now the top factor in location decisions. “Fifty years ago, you had employers decide where employees needed to live. Today, employees decide where employers need to live.” Steve explained.

Employment data in recent months has underscored the resilience of these markets despite the recent slowdown in the U.S. economy. In April, the top 12 markets ranked by the STEMdex were responsible for 52% of the 123,000 total jobs created in the U.S., while accounting for only 14% of the total population, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau released June 2016.

We continue to take a data-driven approach to find value for our investors. Of the top 12 markets identified by the STEMdex, we own assets in six, including Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver and Houston. Dubbed “Silicon Hills,” Austin ranked number one due to the exceptional growth, quality and diversity of its workforce. In addition to being our corporate headquarters, we own four properties in the market.

View Steve LeBlanc on CNBC here: Tracking good jobs for real estate investors | CNBC
View RCLCO's Advisory Paper here: 2016 STEM Job Growth Index

ABOUT RCLCO: RCLCO Real Estate Advisors is the leading knowledge solutions provider to the real estate industry. Since its founding in 1967, RCLCO has been at the forefront of real estate trends and issues, offering strategic guidance that is always market-driven, analytically based, and financially sound. They assist their clients with everything from market, economic, financial, and impact analyses to organizational strategic planning and litigation support. They are real estate experts, consultants, advisors, analysts, and strategists offering solutions from project inception to disposition and all points in between. For more information on RCLCO’s services contact Joshua Boren, Director of Business Development (; 310-984-1757) or visit