Report: Silicon Valley Sees Growth In Jobs, Wealth

silicon valley new jobsSAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Silicon Valley is creating jobs and wealth for highly skilled workers but may be leaving some residents behind as employment closes in on pre-Great Recession levels, according to a report released Tuesday.

The 2012 Silicon Valley Index found job growth in the high-tech hub far outpaced the country as a whole last year. The region added 42,000 jobs, a jump of nearly 4 percent, compared with a nationwide increase of little more than 1 percent.

The current unemployment rate in the region stands at 8.3 percent, the same as the national average but well below the overall state rate of 10.9 percent.

Job growth occurred in all major sectors of the Silicon Valley economy except manufacturing. Key industries adding jobs included cloud computing, mobile devices, mobile apps, Internet companies and social media.

"Silicon Valley does seem to be mounting a fairly impressive recovery," said Russell Hancock, president and chief executive of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a nonprofit that compiles the index annually along with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. "We were the last to succumb to the national recession, and we appear to be the first emerging out of it."

Hancock said the improving economy hasn't resulted in the same widespread benefits as previous periods of growth. In the past, he said, advances in the high-tech industry would also create many mid-level jobs that served as the "spine" of Silicon Valley.

This time around, what Hancock called a "bonanza" for highly educated workers hasn't trickled down.

Per capita income for the four-county region covered by the index rose to $66,000 last year due to rising wealth among high earners.

The report does not provide a median income figure for 2011, but the number dropped by 3 percent between 2009 and 2010, and the percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches rose.

"Technology used to be this tide that would rise and lift all the boats," Hancock said. "That doesn't seem to be the case anymore."

Optimism among investors has helped drive the region's return to prosperity for those with the right science, engineering and business skills. Venture capital investments rose by 17 percent last year, the third increase in as many years following a sharp drop after the 2008 economic downturn.

Investments in software jumped in 2011, but the biggest leap was a doubling in backing for so-called clean technology. Most of the $3 billion poured into the industry went toward efforts to develop alternative energy sources.

Other signs that Silicon Valley was retaining its reputation as the country's innovation engine included a 30 percent surge in patent registrations in 2010 compared with the year before. The region's 13,300 new patents represented 12 percent of all the patents registered in the U.S. that year, the report said.

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San Jose in the house!!

February 08 2012 at 11:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's as plain as the nose on anyone's an honest days work for an honest days pay and you CAN increase your own personal wealth. Just a shame that kids today are being preached at that someone other than themselves owes them an existence.

February 08 2012 at 4:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kpamesa's comment

Bravo! Well said.
Lke I just posted somethwere else "life isnt fair" It never was. Never will be.Same thing I have been teaching my kids their entire lives. Unfortunately thats not the politically correct norm these days. "Everyone gets a trophy" is the parental norm. Because God forbid anyones kid feels as if they didnt do good enough. Or didnt work hard enough to earn it. that might make them feel bad. And everyone knows that nobody should have to feel bad. Rather then make their kids earn what they have. Mommy and daddy just buy them every new doodad under the sun. because God forbid their kids have to do anything extra to earn something.

End result. We have a generation who enters the workforce expecting that they should be able to have the world just because. And then get mad at the people willing to do the extra things to actually make it.
Making it in this world is hard. Thats why only 1% actually get there.

February 08 2012 at 9:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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