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Silicon Valley Job Boom Leads to Income Gap

Sunday, February 08, 2015
San Jose, Calif. — The Silicon Valley economy is red hot and the growth looks like it will intensify, with technology leading the employment and investment boom in the region, according to the latest Joint Venture Silicon Valley Index that was released last week, but the surge has created a yawning income gap.

During 2014, Silicon Valley added 58,000 jobs. The job gains last year were greater than in 2013, when Silicon Valley added 44,000 jobs, the Joint Venture Silicon Valley Index report determined.

“The hot economy is getting hotter,” said Russell Hancock, president of Joint Venture Silicon Valley. “It is really extraordinary. We are blowing through every economic record.”

Is the tech boom a bubble, which was the case in 2000? Hancock believes it is not a bubble.

“2000 wasn’t real, it was just a spike,” Hancock said. “And it came crashing down.”

Employment in Silicon Valley expanded during 2014 at a 4.1 percent rate.

“Silicon Valley is growing faster than the Bay Area, faster than San Francisco, faster than California,” Hancock said.

Yet that growth has arrived with a price. The study determined that the income gap between upper income people in Silicon Valley and lower income residents is at $92,000.

Workers in the region holding high-skill jobs have a median income of $118,700 compared with $27,000 for workers holding low-skill jobs, said Rachel Massaro, vice president with Joint Venture Silicon Valley.

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