A Message About the 2016 Index
Silicon Valley continues to sizzle.
You’ll see on the pages of this report how employment growth, already impressive, just keeps accelerating. We’re now adding jobs at a rate we haven’t seen since the short-lived dot-com craze in 2000, and with this growth comes extremely low unemployment rates and rising incomes. Innovation is thriving, as measured by patent generation and record levels of venture funding, and our entrepreneurs are proliferating ideas, products, and services that disrupt established industries and change our lives.
It’s extraordinary, truly, and a thing to celebrate.
But what is it really like inside the “box”?
In some ways our region is a closed box—a built-out system with no more room to expand. As employment levels rise, the issues of traffic congestion and housing continue to mount.
In other ways, the region is an open box—if the rising tide doesn’t lift all the boats, it replaces those boats. As housing prices increase and the cost of living rises faster than the state and nation, many Silicon Valley residents choose to live elsewhere and are promptly replaced by newcomers who fill our growing employment demands.
Are traffic, high housing costs and population turnover simply the price we have to pay for our success? What will happen as fewer and fewer of our region’s service workers—those who enable our growing economy—can no longer afford to live near their work?
There are perils associated with prosperity, and the region needs to address them even while we celebrate our remarkable dynamism. Our organization exists for this very purpose, and we’re pleased to provide the data that will inform our decision making.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Joint Venture Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies