Report: Silicon Valley sees growth in jobs, wealth

Feb 7, 2012, 11:07 PM

SAN 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.

___

Online:

2012 Silicon Valley Index:
http://www.jointventure.org

___

Marcus Wohlsen can be reached at
http://twitter.com/marcuswohlsen

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

FILE - One of Pacific Gas & Electric's Diablo Canyon Power Plant's nuclear reactors in Avila Beach,...
Associated Press

California nuke extension challenged in legislative proposal

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A proposal circulated Friday by California Democratic legislators would reject Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to extend the lifespan of the state’s last operating nuclear power plant — and instead spend over $1 billion to speed up the development of renewable energy, new transmission lines and storage to maintain reliable power in […]
20 hours ago
In this photo provided by the National Park Service, cars are stuck in mud and debris from flash fl...
Associated Press

Flood-damaged Death Valley to reopen popular sites to public

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Death Valley National Park’s most popular sites will reopen to the public on Saturday, two weeks after massive flash-flooding, but the National Park Service cautioned visitors to expect delays and continuing road closures. Locations that will reopen include the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, Badwater Basin, Zabriskie Point, and […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Judge throws out Maine lawsuit against COVID vaccine mandate

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a complaint from a group of health care workers who said they were unfairly discriminated against by Maine’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement. The plaintiffs sued Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and other Maine officials along with a group of health care organizations in the state. The workers argued […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Federal court rejects Mississippi student’s racial bias suit

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A lawsuit alleging a school district in a small Mississippi Delta town discriminated against a Black student and stripped her of an academic award has been dismissed by a panel of federal judges. Olecia James filed the federal lawsuit in 2019 against the Cleveland School District, claiming officials prevented her from […]
20 hours ago
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks to reporters during a visit to the Iowa State Fair, Friday,...
Associated Press

Pence says he didn’t leave office with classified material

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that he didn’t take any classified information with him when he left office. The disclosure — which would typically be unremarkable for a former vice president — is notable given that FBI agents seized classified and top secret information from his former boss’s […]
20 hours ago
(AP Photo/Richard Drew)...
Associated Press

Don’t dawdle with latest iPhone update. Here’s why and how

Apple released an upgrade Wednesday to close a security hole that could allow hackers to seize control of iPhones and several other popular Apple products.
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Report: Silicon Valley sees growth in jobs, wealth