Joint Venture Publications

The 2009 Special Analysis examines the fundamental economic changes taking place in Silicon Valley and their impact on our community.

As in years past, the Special Analysis is a core piece of the Index of Silicon Valley, and this year, it exists also as a stand-alone document. The expectation is that given the enormity of the issues especially in the context of the current economic climate, the findings and questions presented here will provoke serious discussion and action in the community that will continue long after the State of the Valley Conference.

Our conclusion: Silicon Valley’s “people and place” policies must evolve to help the region’s employers and educational institutions learn, adapt, and reorganize to maintain a thriving regional “habitat” for living and working in the global marketplace. The cost of inaction will undermine the region’s innovative capacity and overall competitiveness and with it, our regional prosperity and quality of life.

  • Silicon Valley’s industry mix is changing as some industries grow, others contract, and new industries emerge.
  • Sustaining Silicon Valley’s innovative economy is not possible without the people who maintain the region’s community infrastructure.
  • Silicon Valley is not currently prepared to meet its projected workforce needs for 2016. The region is not producing enough talent with the necessary skills to fill the large volume of replacement jobs opening in community infrastructure and in high tech. It will not be able to meet these needs by importing workers from abroad and other states.
  • The growing mismatch of jobs and skills will result in income polarization in which the tight supply of highly skilled workers will command premium wages and the surplus of lower-skilled workers will experience wage erosion.
  • Silicon Valley needs a robust system of workforce development and safety net programs – one that supports adult worker retraining and transition in addition to improving the education of today’s young people.

Silicon Valley’s economy is transforming, and the region needs to re-examine how well its “people and place” policies can cultivate a thriving space for living and working in this changing context.

Want more data?

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.

Joint Venture Publications

Joint Venture produces and provides supporting documents and research for a wide array of Silicon Valley interests. We also help to support our initiatives through the publication of the annual Silicon Valley Index and a variety of other periodic reports and white papers.