PUNTA GORDA — The Punta Gorda metro area, which includes Charlotte County, recently earned a top-10 ranking in a recent study listing the best places in Florida for tech jobs.

The study was conducted by FinanceBuzz, an informational website providing financial advice for individuals.

Charlotte County ranked No. 8 for Florida metro areas in the website’s top-10 tech hubs study, based on job competition, average salary, cost of living, average rating of tech companies, number of open tech jobs and how strong local internet connectivity is.

The North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metro area came in next at No. 9

When asked how a retirement-heavy area like Charlotte County could earn a top rank in the state, Financebuzz spokesperson Rebecca Wright said the data was uniformly collected and reported “without adjusting or factoring in population demographics.”

In earning the eighth spot, Charlotte County received a score of 60.8 out of 100.

The county earned the score due to “strong showings” in the tech job competition (4.6) and per capita tech job availability (4.2) categories, according to study results.

The county also scored a 3.4 in both the tech job salary and cost of living categories.

For the study, FinanceBuzz collected data for all Florida metropolitan areas on which the Bureau of Labor Statistics had published data.

They then gathered data points for the six different factors related to tech jobs in each area. Data for each metro was put into a dynamic formula that assigned a 0-5 score to each metro for every factor, with scores being relative to all other metro areas in our evaluation.

Individual factor scores were then weighted and added together to get a final score on a 0-100 scale.

The Sebastian-Vero Beach Metro area earned the top ranking with a 75.1 score.

At No. 9, the North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota Metro area earned a 54.4 score.

For the city of Punta Gorda, Assistant City Manager Melissa Reichert said the city’s relaxed lifestyle and access to waterfront amenities have made it an attractive place for tech workers.

“With remote work’s new-found acceptance, it is likely that the city will continue to attract individuals that are working in the technology field,” Reichert said. “The enhanced quality of place that the city of Punta Gorda and the greater MSA offer make the community very attractive to employees and business owners.”

Charlotte County Administrator Hector Flores said what makes the county attractive to retirees has also become attractive to younger workers with technology skills.

“A growing number of smaller tech-focused companies use the Charlotte County lifestyle, affordable cost of living and laid-back atmosphere as a selling point for recruiting employees,” Flores said.

“Remote working now allows more people to live in Charlotte County while working for an organization anywhere in the country or the world.”

Flores went on to say that the county’s overhead costs — office or manufacturing space leases — are also an appeal as they are often lower than those in the more heavily populated metropolitan areas.

Wright said the smaller metro areas like Charlotte County are becoming more popular for tech workers.

“Metro areas like Punta Gorda are being recognized in the tech industry because these areas are growing quickly, there is less competition for jobs and more are jobs available for the number of people moving into the area,” she said.

“Smaller cities and hubs can boast less traffic, less competition, and a small-town feel all the while being located near a variety of larger cities,” she added. “This can be super attractive to people who want to get away from city life. This, too, has been a trend over the course of the pandemic.”

To see the full study, go to FinanceBuzz.com/best-florida-cities-tech-jobs.

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