The Dot-Com Boom Is Back In Silicon Valley

San Francisco Bay Bridge

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Silicon Valley continues the prodigious job growth that has made it stand apart from the rest of America, George Avalos of the Oakland Tribune reports.According to the annual 2013 Silicon Valley Index, produced by Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a trade group, and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, employment growth in the interconnected tech hubs of San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

“Some might even say the job growth is cause for euphoria,” Joint Venture Silicon Valley President Russell Hancock said in the report.

Last year, out of the 92,000 new jobs added in the Bay Area, Silicon Valley accounted for 46 per cent, or 42,000 jobs. 

For reference, the Bay Area consists of nine counties, but only two of those counties, Santa Clara and San Mateo, make up the historical Silicon Valley. But the definition of Silicon Valley is expanding, as more startups are emerging in San Francisco. 

Now, Santa Clara County has more jobs than it did at the height of the dot-com boom, according to the report. In 2012, the number of jobs in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties increased by 3.6 per cent. San Francisco outgrew them both at 3.7 per cent.

The dot-com bubble started to deflate in 2000 when the tech-heavy Nasdaq stock market crashed. That resulted in a $5 trillion loss in the market value of companies, and subsequently, a loss of jobs as publicly traded companies cut back and venture capitalists stopped backing startups.

Silicon Valley took years to recover. From 2002 to 2004, unemployment was higher in the area than the rest of California. But the tech-heavy region weathered the financial crisis of 2008 better than most of the rest of the world. And since then, the fast-growing regional economy has increasingly stood out amidst a sluggish recovery.

In addition to an increase in jobs, the average real per capital income in Silicon Valley is up to 2.2 per cent from 2011. Software jobs in the area also increased by 9.8 per cent in 2012, according to the report. 

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