Silicon Valley, the area in Northern California flanking San Francisco Bay, which was once a major fruit-growing area, got its nickname from a journalist in 1971, who evoked the key role of the region in the development of the silicon microchip from 1950s and the creation of America's innovation engine. However big-scale manufacturing has disappeared and the latest annual report on the region says income has stagnated in the last decade and there is a large gap between the highest and lowest earning racial/ethnic groups, which is larger in Silicon Valley ($44,037) and San Francisco ($50,069) than in California ($28,332) or the United States ($17,716).
In 2009, Intel, whose founders were pioneers in the development of the microchip, closed its chip fabrication plant.
"Increasingly, Silicon Valley is less about silicon and more about technology development," said Chuck Mulloy, Intel spokesman . "It's something that has been happening in Silicon Valley for the last two decades."
As middle income jobs contract, San Jose, a city of 1m people and the largest urban area in the region, is broke according to the mayor.
The third-largest city in California (bigger than San Francisco) and the tenth-largest in the United States is poor because it's population shrinks during the day.
The San Jose Mercury News says: "Still, it is hard for many people to believe the biggest city in a place where new millionaires are minted every day could struggle to pay its bills. At nearly every community meeting, residents show up to proclaim that, surely, there must be enough money here to house the growing homeless population, or crack down on speeding drivers, or fix up the local park.
The 2015 Silicon Valley Index report says the geographical boundaries of Silicon Valley vary. Earlier, the region’s core was identified as Santa Clara County plus adjacent parts of San Mateo, Alameda and Santa Cruz counties. "However, since 2009, the Silicon Valley Index has included all of San Mateo County in order to reflect the geographic expansion of the region’s driving industries and employment."
“The growth is uneven,” Russell Hancock, president and CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, writes in the report. “Though we’re proliferating high-wage and low-wage jobs, we’re steadily losing share in the middle. It’s as if the economy has lost its spine, and this has important implications for the kind of community we become.”
The following are some of the key findings:
Huffington Post: How Silicon Valley Billionaires Are Creating A New Economic Order
General Motors had a payroll of 618,000 in the US in 1979 in well-paying jobs similar to what created the post 1945 US middle class.
We reported last year that Apple the contemporary GM, employs in the US about 12,000 professional staff; over 30,000 in retail and the rest in customer support. The New York Times reported in 2012 that average retail staff annual pay was $25,000.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics there were 1.06m employed in the durable goods category 'Computer and electronic products' in February 2015 down from 1.32m in February 2005.
Last January the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) said in a report: "Since its peak in 1979, US manufacturing employment has declined, with moderate losses through the late 1990s, mostly caused by higher manufacturing productivity relative to the rest of the economy. In the 2000s, however, with the rise of China and the new globalization, US manufacturing employment experienced a decade of unprecedented losses, shedding 5.8m jobs, or about one-third of the workforce. But unlike the prior two decades, these losses were caused not principally by superior manufacturing productivity growth, as apologists for the health of US manufacturing continue to assert. Rather, they were caused by significant losses in real value added output, in turn causing a large increase in the US trade deficit, which by 2002 also included a deficit in advanced technology industries."
“If you ask me today, is it possible to live to be 500? The answer is yes,” Bill Maris says one January afternoon in Mountain View, California according to Bloomberg this week. "The president and managing partner of Google Ventures just turned 40, but he looks more like a 19-year-old college kid at midterm. He’s wearing sneakers and a gray denim shirt over a T-shirt; it looks like he hasn’t shaved in a few days."
Long before Bill Maris will find the immortality gene, he and his colleagues may have to contend with something more conventional — a social revolution.
The two charts below were tweeted by Michael McDonough, chief economist at Bloomberg this week 1) the first chart shows the changes in job numbers in 32 US industry sectors since 2005. Low-paying personal aide positions are expected to be the fastest growing occupation in the current decade and here we see that "Health Care & Social Assistance" added most jobs at 3.25m 2) most net jobs added were in low pay sectors.
Dan Breznitz, author or coauthor of several books on innovation-based growth, who holds the Munk chair of Innovation Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto and in the past has been an adviser to Enterprise Ireland, wrote last November that worldwide, "politicians and policymakers lust after innovation, proclaiming it to be the ultimate solution to all economic maladies everywhere. Practically every country aspires to create its own Silicon Valley."
© Copyright 2015 by Finfacts.ie