“Silicon Valley’s Economy is Sputtering”

SiliconValleyEmptyOfficeBuilding2010-02-28.jpg “An unoccupied office building in San Jose, Calif., in December. Many tech firms are hiring engineers abroad to do their work.” Source of caption and photo: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.

(p. B3) SAN FRANCISCO — Silicon Valley’s economy is sputtering and risks permanently stalling, according to an annual report by a group of researchers in the region.

Part of the toll on Silicon Valley has resulted from the recession. The region, the center of the global technology industry, lost 90,000 jobs from the second quarter of 2008 to the second quarter of 2009. Unemployment is higher than national levels and the worst in the region since 2005, when technology companies were still recovering from the dot-com implosion.
The drop in the number of midlevel jobs — the engineers who drive much of the Valley’s growth — has been sharpest. And when companies do hire, they are cautiously hiring independent contractors instead of regular employees, and are hiring abroad, according to the “2010 Index of Silicon Valley” report, which was produced by the Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, two local nonprofit groups.
Other economic indicators are also gloomy, the report found.
“We show no evidence that the recovery has arrived,” said Russell Hancock, chief executive of Joint Venture.

For the full story, see:
CLAIRE CAIN MILLER. “Report Warns Silicon Valley Could Lose Its Edge.” The New York Times (Thurs., February 11, 2010): B3.
Note: The online version of the article is dated February 10, 2010, and has the title “Report Warns Silicon Valley Could Lose Its Edge.”)

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