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2016 Silicon Valley Index: Tech economy surging to new levels

cover imageFebruary 10, 2016 – Sustained growth of the Silicon Valley economy is swelling to new levels that have Bay Area housing, transit and highways bursting at the seams and hard pressed to accommodate the wave of prosperity, according to the 2016 Silicon Valley Index released today by Joint Venture Silicon Valley.

Nearly every category in the past year is, in a word, up. Jobs and income; angel investments and venture capital; new office, warehouse and hotel development; immigration; housing prices and rents; transit ridership, traffic congestion and commute times – all up. About the only categories down are unemployment, building vacancies and housing inventory.

Read the complete news release. | Download the Index.

Packed schedule for State of the Valley 2016

blue and yellow circle logoJanuary 6, 2016 - A jam-packed program of keynote speakers, panelists, the 2016 Silicon Valley Index, the Packard Award, exhibitors and entertainment awaits those attending Joint Venture’s 2016 State of the Valley conference. The Valley’s transportation and housing crunch shape the agenda for our annual gathering of business, government, labor, academic and community leaders.

Keynote speakers include Newt Gingrich, Henry Cisneros, Michelle Lee and Stefan Heck, along with a panel on the future of the combustion engine organized by the Stanford Precourt Center for Energy Efficiency.

Bank of America is the lead sponsor for State of the Valley, joined by presenting sponsors Accenture, Applied Materials, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and Wells Fargo Bank.

Register Now

Newt Gingrich, George Miller in State of the Valley finale

George Miller and Newt Gingrich headshots with State of the Valley circle logo The Silicon Valley-Washington Connection: In this fireside-style chat finale to State of the Valley, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will be paired with retired Bay Area Congressman George Miller for a wide-ranging conversation about our nation’s future. Moderated by San Francisco Chronicle Editor in Chief Audrey Cooper, their conversation will explore such questions as:

What are the major trends in the nation’s Capitol? What is the outlook for the 2016 election and beyond? Can Washington find a way out of gridlock? Can Silicon Valley innovation bring solutions when the political process falls short? Can Washington and Silicon Valley work as a team to address the nation’s most pressing challenges?

State of the Valley is February 12. Learn more.

Register now.

State of the Valley Keynote: Professor Stefan Heck

Stefan Heck headshotProductivity Revolution: New Models of Transportation Planning for Silicon Valley: Silicon Valley’s hot economy is creating jobs by the hundreds of thousands and placing enormous strain on our transportation infrastructure. The region is adding capacity to the system as best we can, but it’s clear we’ll never be able to provide the kind of capacity that would accommodate our burgeoning demand.

Professor Stefan Heck of the Stanford Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, will argue that we have to achieve new efficiencies on the system and introduce new models of transportation planning. Can Silicon Valley show the nation a new path forward?

State of the Valley is February 12. Register now.

State of the Valley Keynote: Michelle Lee

Michelle Lee headshotProtecting the Innovation Economy: How Intellectual Property Drives Economic Growth: There was a time when the most valuable assets of companies were their plants and inventory. But in Silicon Valley the most valuable assets of our driving industries are often intangible—things like processes, designs, brands, algorithms, and inventions.

These are driving the growth of the world economy and Silicon Valley will continue to lead the way, making it more important than ever to have a high-functioning system in place to protect intellectual property. Michelle Lee, Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, will highlight the challenges she sees as she carries out President Obama’s innovation agenda.

State of the Valley is February 12. Register now.

State of the Valley Keynote: Henry Cisneros

Henry Cisneros headshotSilicon Valley’s Housing Dilemma: New Paths Forward. Silicon Valley’s prodigious growth generates intense demand for housing, on a landscape that is already built out. The meager supply has made ours the most expensive housing in the nation, posing a crisis for a region trying to create community, fill jobs, and plan for its future.

How do the world’s most innovative regions address their housing challenges? Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros will share his vast experience and challenge Silicon Valley to take bold measures.

State of the Valley is February 12. Register now.

Code for America founder Jennifer Pahlka named recipient of 2016 Packard Award

Jennifer PahlkaJanuary 9, 2015 - Jennifer Pahlka, founder and executive director of Code for America, is the recipient of Joint Venture's 2016 David Packard Award for civic entrepreneurship.

A former U. S. Deputy Chief of Technology Officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology, Pahlka will receive the Packard Award at the 2016 State of the Valley conference February 12 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

The Packard Award is Joint Venture’s highest honor, presented annually to an individual or individuals who bring an entrepreneurial, cross-boundary problem solving approach to Silicon Valley’s challenges. Recipients embody the spirit of David Packard, Silicon Valley’s legendary pioneer who set the highest standard for civic engagement.

Read the news release.

Monthly Investors Council Spotlight

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Joint Venture's Investors Council welcomes dozens of public and private organizations and foundations supporting our initiatives and programs. The Investors Council currently includes more than 100 private organizations, 56 public entities and 13 foundations.

Joint Venture offers a variety of support and sponsorship opportunities for individuals, corporations, and public sector organizations. To inquire about becoming a member of our Investors Council, call (408) 298-9330 or visit our Become an Investor page. To see our current investors, visit our investors pages.

Silicon Valley Indicators

indicators home page Did you know you can get comprehensive information and data about the economic and community health of Silicon Valley any time by visiting the online home of the Silicon Valley Index at

The site is maintained and constantly updated by Joint Venture's Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies and is a robust collection of charts and information with links to local, regional and national data sources, and resources for additional information within each of the indicator categories: People, Economy, Society, Place and Governance.

Download the 2015 Silicon Valley Index.

This Month on "Inside Silicon Valley"

Inside Silicon Valley logoFebruary 1, 2016 - Improving government technology, the 2016 State of the Valley conference and the 2016 Silicon Valley Index are among the topics this month on “Inside Silicon Valley,” Joint Venture’s weekly public affairs radio program.

Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock hosts the hour-long program, which airs every Friday at 7 p.m. and again Sunday at noon on 1590 KLIV.

Scheduled guests this month:
Feb. 5 & 7: Jennifer Pahlka, CEO, Code for America, and recipient of the 2016 David Packard Award 
Feb. 12 & 14: Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Henry Cisnerosformer HUD Secretary (encore presentation)
Feb. 19 & 21: Rachel Massaro, Senior research associate, Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies
Feb. 26 & 28 : TBA


What is Joint Venture?

Established in 1993, Joint Venture brings together Silicon Valley’s established and emerging leaders—from business, government, academia, labor and the broader community—to spotlight issues and work toward innovative solutions. See what Silicon Valley leaders have to say.

Top Videos

2015 State of the Valley

2015 State of the Valley recap video by PRx Digital.

More than 1,200 people packed the 2015 State of the Valley conference on Feb. 4 at the Santa Clara Convention Center, where they heard keynote remarks from Stanford University President John Hennessy, Time assistant managing editor Rana Foroohar, author and political theorist Benjamin Barber, and Technology Partners general partner Ira Ehrenpreis, as well as a panel discussion with Sam de Brouwer, Veronica Juarez, Jitendra Kavathekar, Matt Mahan (moderator), Jeff Modisett, and Ben Nelson. The day began with an update on the region’s economy and also featured the Packard Award presentation to Chris DiGiorgio and Chuck Reed, an exhibitors hall, and entertainment by local youth groups.

Briefing on the 2015 Silicon Valley Index

The 2015 Silicon Valley Index revealed that Silicon Valley’s economy is thriving from San Jose to San Francisco, surging to levels that are overwhelming the Bay Area’s capacity to handle it. At the same time, the wave of prosperity continues to widen the middle-income gap and strain the region’s ability to accommodate its ever-rising housing costs, commuter rates, traffic and transit ridership.

The comprehensive yearly analysis of the economic strength and overall health of Silicon Valley showed the region with nearly 58,000 new jobs – the highest growth rate since 2000 – 42,000 new residents, average annual earnings of $116,000, venture capital investments higher than any other year since 2000, 17,000 new patent registrations and more than 16 million square feet of new commercial building space approved.

Here is Joint Venture President and CEO Russell Hancock’s report on the 2015 Index to the annual State of the Valley conference Feb. 4, 2015.

Learn more about the Silicon Valley Index online at

Top Downloads

Income Inequality Brief, June 2015

Income Inequality brief cover This research brief examines data on Bay Area income inequality and how it varies within the region, including comparisons to the state and nation as a whole.

Learn more about the Income Inequality Brief, view interactive charts, and download the underlying chart data on the indicators website.

Population Brief, May 2015

population brief cover This research brief examines Silicon Valley’s population dynamics, including overall population growth, growth by city and county, birth and death rates, and the changing population composition in terms of age and gender. It also examines recent California Department of Finance (DOF) population and K-12 enrollment projections through 2023.

Learn more about the Population Brief, view interactive charts, and download the underlying chart data on the indicators website.

Poverty Brief, March 2015

poverty brief cover This research brief examines aspects of poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area, its regional distribution and areas of intense concentration, as well as the demographics of the impoverished population.

Learn more about the Poverty Brief, view interactive charts, and download the underlying chart data on the indicators website.

Silicon Valley Index - 2015

2015 Silicon Valley Index yellow cover The 2015 Silicon Valley Index reveals Silicon Valley’s economy is thriving from San Jose to San Francisco, surging to levels that are overwhelming the Bay Area’s capacity to handle it.

Learn more about the Silicon Valley Index online at

In The News

February 10, 2016 - (Palo Alto Online) - Silicon Valley's Year: 'Amazing' but with 'Perils': "The 2016 Silicon Valley Index ... found that Silicon Valley employment increased 4.3 percent in 2015, a level that has been unprecedented in any other year except 2000, Russell Hancock, president and CEO, said during a Wednesday press conference." More

February 10, 2016 - (ABC7 News) - Report: Silicon Valley's Tech Economy a Mixed Bag of Pros and Cons: "'here are valuations that investors are starting to feel are probably too high, an adjustment going on,' said Russell Hancock, Joint Venture President and CEO." Video.

February 10, 2016 - (San Jose Mercury News) - Tech-Fueled Job Market Powers Record Boom for Silicon Valley: Report: "'Silicon Valley in 2015 had an amazing year, it was a record-breaking year," said Russell Hancock, chief executive officer of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, which released the report.'" More

February 5, 2016 - (South Pasadena Review) - Urban Harvester Earns $50,000 Grant to Help Reduce Hunger: "Urban Harvester is working in partnership with Joint Venture Silicon Valley (JVSV) on a hunger and waste reduction initiative based on JVSV’s State of the Valley 2015 Poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area research brief." More

February 3, 2016 - (Market Wired) - Tech CU Announces CEO Succession Plan: "(Todd Harris) was recently named to the Board of Directors for Joint Venture Silicon Valley and regularly provides commentary and insight to institutional regulators on numerous issues, including, most recently, the NCUA's Risk-Based Capital Rule proposals." More.

January 31, 2016 - (The Atlantic) - The Other Children of Silicon Valley: "According to a June 2015 report by the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies, the median annual income for high-skill, high-wage earners across the region is $119,000—more than four times that of low-skill, low-wage earners." More

January 8, 2016 - (San Francisco Chronicle) - How a Tech Slowdown Could Affect Bay Area Housing: "“There was a period when prices were depressed; that’s when I bought my house,” said Russell Hancock, CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley. “I thought I never would be able to get in, then the market opened up.” More

December 29, 2015 - (The Atlantic) - 8 Bay Area Traffic Reduction Policies: "(Steve Raney), The mobility guru at Joint Venture Silicon Valley recently outlined that many congestion-relief schemes for the Bay Area. More

December 19, 2015 - (Peninsula Press) - Menlo Park Emergency Response Times Slow Amid Traffic Gridlock: "According to the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies, the Menlo Park District alone is projected to grow by nearly 20,000 residents over the next 25 years." More

December 17, 2015 - (Peninsula Press) - Amid Bay Area Housing Crunch, Support Grows for Transit-Oriented Development: "Beyond affecting specific projects, opposition from residents creates political obstacles, said Russell Hancock, an advocate for regional planning who runs the Joint Venture Silicon Valley think-tank." More

November 24, 2015 - (Microwave Product Digest) - David Witkowski op-ed: The Opportunities and Challenges of LTE Unlicensed in 5 GHz: "Globally, we consumed 8 Exabytes per month in 2014, by 2020 we’ll be consuming 71 Exabytes per month, and there isn’t enough licensed spectrum to support this growth." More

November 23, 2015 - (International Business Times) - Shuttle Bus Drivers...Approve Labor Contract: "The median income for a high-skilled worker in Silicon Valley is $119,000 a year, compared to $27,000 for low-skilled workers, according to a report from Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a regional think tank." More.

November 12, 2015 - (Huffington Post) - What's It Like to Work in Silicon Valley if You're Not in Tech?: "Here's Rachel Massaro, a senior researcher at Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a local nonprofit." More.

November 12, 2015 - (San Jose Mercury News) - Need an EV Battery Fill-up? At Many Charging Stations, Get in Line: "'Everyone is adding or feels they need to add,' said Don Bray, director of energy initiatives for Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a network of thought leaders that works on regional problems." More

November 2, 2015 - (Huffington Post Business) - Tech Companies Have a Labor Problem, but Democrats Still Love Them: "'The middle class is disappearing,' said Russell Hancock, president of the Joint Venture Silicon Valley, an organization of business, government, academics and labor that analyzes pressing issues in the region." More

October 26, 2015 - (CBS MoneyWatch) - Is Your Home Worth As Much as an Apple Employee's?: "Less well known is that over the last 25 years, income inequality in the region has increased at a faster pace than in the U.S. as a whole, according to a recent study by the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies." More.

October 22, 2015 - (InMenlo) - Partnership Formed to Explore How Silicon Valley Can Survive Natural Disasters: "'The region will benefit greatly from this opportunity to leverage our respective strengths and resources to confront such earth and atmospheric threats to Silicon Valley as earthquakes, sea level rise, greenhouse gas emissions and drought,' said Russell Hancock, president and CEO of Joint Venture." More.

 October 19, 2015 - (La Voz Weekly) - The Bay Area Paradox: Poverty in the Valley: "(Haveman) presented his report on income inequality in the Bay Area for the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies. More

October 15, 2015 - (Tech Crunch) - Silicon Valley 2.0 and the Need for a Silicon Valley Development Authority: "Yet “Silicon Valley” only exists as a metaphor – with loose associations like the Joint Venture Silicon Valley to look after it." More.