Report: Valley jobs decline while pay increases


Despite record unemployment rates, some sectors of Silicon Valley's high-tech economy continue to shine, according to a report released Wednesday.

"While the employment picture may sound a bit negative, the wage picture was much more sunny," said Amar Mann, regional economist with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, who co-authored the report titled "After the Dot-Com Bubble: Silicon Valley High-Tech Employment and wages in 2001 and 2008."

Mann said the six-county Silicon Valley region lost more than 85,000 high-tech jobs between 2001 and 2008, a decline of about 17 percent.

The region comprises Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties.

However, the average Silicon Valley tech worker's salary grew by 36 percent during the same period, from about $97,000 a year in 2001 to $132,000 a year in 2008, Mann said.

By contrast, salaries nationwide grew by just 25 percent between 2001 and 2008, he said.

Among other findings in the report:

- Jobs grew in the fields of aerospace, pharmaceuticals, and scientific research between 2001 and 2008. Mann calls these sectors the "emerging leaders" of Silicon Valley's tech economy.

- Jobs declined in fields such as data processing, semiconductor manufacturing and computer system design.

- Silicon Valley continues to lead the nation in registered patents. The region is home to 11 of the top 20 U.S. cities with the most

registered patents.

Richard Holden, regional commissioner with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, said his agency hopes to make the Silicon Valley report an annual event.

"We don't do forecasts, but we look at the trends," Holden said.

The report is available online by clicking here.


Like this comment
Posted by cc
a resident of another community
on Aug 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Wow, the salary increases are much more than the City/Local Government wages have increased in the past 5-7 years. All of a sudden the picture comes into view...

Like this comment
Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 17, 2009 at 11:27 am

USA is a registered user.

Mr. Math rolls over and mutters something about any "idiot could handle this one, you take it" then roll back over and goes to sleep. Though somewhat insulted, I shall give it a go.

$97,000 to $132,000 is a 36% increase. Though higher than the national average increase over the same seven year period, it is hardly an issue. Also, in 2001 the Silicon Valley was in the so-called Dot-Bomb economy. Salaries had been pushed up artificially high during the Dot-Com era then crashed back down.

Like this comment
Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 18, 2009 at 1:21 pm

"tech worker" Note that is not average worker.
If the retail, manufacturing, and services trades (all private) were separated,
it would not be this high. So... lets be sure we compare jobs and future
benefits when we compare $$.

How much is a tax backed gov. pension worth in current dollars - vs a private
401K that may or may not include employer contributions (no contribution =
not a benefit). Public employees assured of the current retirement system - have
already made that calculation. They cannot really expect their pensions , and at the
same time salary increases compared to those with NO EMPLOYER PENSIONS.

COL (inflation increases) are not a part of 401k s - but are a part of most
state and local pensions now.

The 85,000 now without tech jobs do not consider it much of a salary increase!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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