by Rachel Massaro

toilet paper on shelves

This morning we released our latest Institute report showing that Silicon Valley’s unemployment rate soared to an unprecedented 11.7% — higher than any other year on record. With 30% of our households unable to meet their basic needs without assistance BEFORE the pandemic, and nearly a quarter of all renters spending more than half of their gross (not net!) income on rent, a 12% unemployment rate is extremely concerning. Our residents are struggling, and facing seriously difficult decisions — like whether to pay their bills or feed their families.

While there are many reasons to believe the majority of these unemployed residents will return to work as the economy reopens, we should all be concerned about our collective wellbeing, and doing what we can to help our communities.

This afternoon, I heard a commercial on Pandora from a major toilet paper brand with a thing for humanlike forest creatures (which I won’t name here) saying, “...the last thing you should have to worry about right now is having enough toilet paper.” I feel compelled to declare this the understatement of the year. Like, duh - right?

It’s bad enough that people are seriously struggling right now to afford their basic needs. Scrounging for toilet paper should NOT be a thing here in Silicon Valley, or anywhere for that matter.

If you’re interested, read our recent Unemployment Rate Data Release. Check out Joint Venture’s food recovery program and our volunteer matching program. And consider supporting a local organization helping to fill the greatly increased needs from our neighbors who could use a helping hand right now.

About the Author

Rachel Massaro is the Vice President at Joint Venture as well as the Director of Research at Joint Venture's Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies . You can learn more about Rachel on her bio page.

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About the Blog

There's something about a crisis that brings people closer together. The Joint Venture Blog was created on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic as we shelter in place. Stepping outside our usual structure, the blog is intended to provide an informal window into the people and the inner workings of the organization. Please feel free to jump in with your own comments.