Boom. Sooner or later. BOOM! →

George Avalos, Oakland Tribine:

Silicon Valley’s job growth has returned to dot-com boom levels and San Francisco has emerged as a major new tech hub. […] Last year, the nine-county Bay Area added about 92,000 jobs. Of that total, Silicon Valley—defined as Santa Clara and San Mateo counties—accounted for 46 percent. “This is prodigious job creation,” [Russell] Hancock [of Joint Venture Silicon Valley] said. “The growth is crazy and it’s getting crazier.”

In fact, Santa Clara County is now above its job totals of the dot-com boom, and this time around San Francisco is in on the action in a big way. (In the previous boom, this wasn’t so much the case.) However, big surprise:

"Income growth in Silicon Valley is uneven," [the report] said. "The gap between high and low income earners is increasing."

I have mixed feelings about this.

On one hand, this is just about the best time to have found myself looking for work: the chances are pretty good that I can find something in my industry that I actually like and that pays well. Ideally something that doesn’t require me to commute from Silicon Valley into San Francisco, but even so.

On the other hand: booms end. And they rarely seem to end in soft landings. They frequently end in the other kind of “boom,” i.e., leaving the area feeling—and looking—kinda bombed out. There’s a growing disconnect between housing prices, both renting and owning, and income even on the high end. A family making the median household income in Santa Clara County would have trouble qualifying for the mortgage on a house at the median price in the area; that’s a largely hidden but significant imbalance that will come crashing down.

Not right now. Probably not within the next year, or two, or three. But sooner or later. Boom.

  1. chipotle posted this