2013 News Releases

2013 Silicon Valley Index: Strong growth propels Silicon Valley from recession

2013 Index cover image Annual study from Joint Venture Silicon Valley and Silicon Valley Community Foundation also shows many still struggling

Special Analysis suggests need for better regional planning

February 5, 2013 – A surge of prosperity and the highest rate of job growth in a decade has propelled Silicon Valley out of the recession, but challenges remain that bar many residents from sharing in the region’s newfound success, according to the 2013 Silicon Valley Index and Special Analysis released today by Joint Venture Silicon Valley and Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

The comprehensive yearly analysis of the economic strength and overall health of Silicon Valley shows that in spite of vigorous economic progress, uneven income patterns, a slow housing recovery and a widening education gap are keeping many from sharing equally in the recovery, particularly Hispanics and African Americans.

“Silicon Valley has pulled off a remarkable recovery from the recession,” said Russell Hancock, President and CEO of Joint Venture. “Our continuing resilience is impressive. Still, the rebound hasn’t been a cure-all for everyone."

The Special Analysis section of the Index also indicates that the growth of tech companies and jobs in San Francisco raise important questions about the Bay Area as a region.

“With Silicon Valley’s tech economy extending into San Francisco, it’s clear we need to think more broadly about transit, housing, jobs and our long-term economic competitiveness,” said Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D., CEO and President of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. “The old boundaries just don’t apply anymore and if we continue to approach our world as if they do, we aren’t going to be successful.”

Throughout the Bay Area, noted Carson, there are 101 incorporated cities and towns, numerous special purpose agencies, 27 transit operators, nine counties and more than a dozen regional agencies for air, water, open space and other functions. Yet the Bay Area has no system through which to integrate and balance these growing, complex and, at times, competing local interests to the detriment of the region as a whole.

The 86-page 2013 Index, now online for the first time at www.siliconvalleyindex.org, reports the latest data and trends in economic development, workforce, housing, education, public health, land use, environment, governance, arts and culture and other sectors throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties and portions of Alameda and Santa Cruz Counties. An accompanying Special Analysis section of the report each year takes a closer look at a particularly significant topic.

The Index is published in conjunction with the annual “State of the Valley” conference, a town hall-style gathering of regional leaders, elected officials and citizens in a daylong discussion of Silicon Valley’s economic opportunities, challenges and future. The 2013 conference takes place Friday, February 8, at Parkside Hall in San Jose.

Other highlights of the 2013 Index and Special Analysis include:

Jobs – Silicon Valley’s quarterly employment increased four percent from Q2 of 2011 to Q2 2012, the highest annual growth rate in more than a decade. Monthly employment in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties grew from December 2011 to December 2012, adding 42,360 jobs. San Francisco created 15,866 jobs over the same period. The public sector continues to be squeezed, losing over 1,130 local government jobs from 2007 to Q2 2012. All major areas of economic activity, except for manufacturing and life sciences, increased employment from Q2 2011 to 2012.

Income – Reporting the third consecutive year of growth, real per capita income inched up 2.2 percent and nears pre-recession levels. The majority of ethnicities and races saw improved per capita income in 2011, except for African Americans and Hispanics whose per capita income fell 18 percent and five percent, respectively. While remaining 45 percent above the state, median household income hit an 11-year low of $84,724. Median income has fallen for all educational levels except for graduate or professional degree.

Housing - The housing recovery is uneven. Renters continue to feel the pressure as rents increase, while homeowners are faring better. The percentage of affordable housing units fell to a 15-year low of two percent of new approved residential units. Average rents hit a historical high of $1,966 and a growing percentage of renters spend more than 35 percent of their income on rent. Residential foreclosures declined 41 percent from the first half of 2011 to the first half of 2012. Average home prices stabilized in 2012 at $671,926, as the number of home sales through Q2 2012 ticked up 12 percent from a year prior.

Talent Flows and Diversity – In 2011, nearly two thirds of Silicon Valley’s adults with higher education working in science and engineering fields were born outside of the United States, a number more than twice the national average for similar professions and education levels (64 percent in Silicon Valley and 26 percent nationally). The educational level of residents in Silicon Valley was higher than in California overall across ethnic groups in 2011 and increased since 2006 across all ethnic groups except African Americans and Hispanics.

Financing and Innovation Assets - Total patent registrations ticked up, though representing a smaller portion of total statewide patents. In 2011, the amount of federal Small Business Innovation and Technology (SBIR/STTR) funding received by Silicon Valley small businesses increased 30 percent to nearly $91 million, though the number of awards fell. The number of small business loans grew faster than the total loan amount, suggesting banks issued a higher number of smaller loans in 2011; the number of loans issued increased 16 percent, and total loan values issued rose five percent. Silicon Valley reached a five-year high of 17 initial public offerings (IPOs) in 2012, representing 52 percent of statewide IPOs and 15 percent nationally.

Venture Capital – Entrepreneurship has been constrained in recent years by lack of access to financing. Silicon Valley venture capital investment fell 17 percent in 2012. However, a 90 percent growth in angel investments in 2012 suggests an improved investment environment. Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) dropped in 2012, but continued to comprise a growing portion of total statewide M&As.

Published annually since 1995, the Silicon Valley Index findings are reported in five major sections: People (talent flows and diversity); Economy (employment, innovation, entrepreneurship, commercial space, income); Society (preparing for economic success, early education, arts and culture, quality of health, safety); and Place (environment, transportation, land use, housing; Governance (revenue).

Joint Venture added the Community Foundation as its partner on the Index and lead sponsor for State of the Valley in 2008. The 2013 Silicon Valley Index and Special Analysis is accessible online at www.siliconvalleyindex.org and may be downloaded from the Joint Venture website at jointventure.org/images/stories/pdf/index2013.pdf or the Community Foundation website at www.siliconvalleycf.org.

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About Joint Venture Silicon Valley

Established in 1993, Joint Venture provides analysis and action on issues affecting the Silicon Valley economy and quality of life. The organization brings together established and emerging leaders—from business, government, academia, labor and the broader community—to spotlight issues, launch projects and work toward innovative solutions. For more information, visit www.jointventure.org.

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Silicon Valley Community Foundation makes all forms of philanthropy more powerful. We serve as a catalyst and leader for innovative solutions to our region’s most challenging problems. The community foundation has $2.9 billion in assets under management and more than 1,650 philanthropic funds. As Silicon Valley’s center of philanthropy, we provide individuals, families and corporations with simple and effective ways to give locally and around the world. Find out more at www.siliconvalleycf.org.

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