Silicon Valley Index is a publication that has been telling the Silicon Valley story since 1995. Released every January, the indicators measure the strength of Silicon Valley’s economy and the health of its community—highlighting challenges and providing an analytical foundation for leadership and decision making.
The 2006 Index shows that the region is no longer losing jobs at the dramatic pace ushered in by the dot-com collapse. In fact, it has managed to post its first, albeit modest, net increase in jobs in five years. But according to the analysis, the generating jobs are different than before, a change wrought by industrial restructuring and the forces of globalization. Though the region has posted continuous productivity gains, and though per capita income is on the rise, regional job growth remains sluggish. Moreover, not everyone is benefiting from the changes, and too many people are unprepared to participate in a more demanding economy.
According to the report:
In the years since the dot-com collapse, Silicon Valley has solidified its position as a global center for creativity in business and technology. Silicon Valley has long been effective at attracting entrepreneurs, incubating new companies, creating new products and services and introducing entirely new business models. The region also has a documented, well-established infrastructure of financial, legal, business and other start-up expertise. But our experience these past five years offers additional evidence that Silicon Valley’s most important competitive edge may be its «creative edge».
The report’s indicators are organized into five sections:
- P E O P L E
- Silicon Valley has a growing, well-educated, diverse population with significant foreign talent.
- E C O N O M Y
- Silicon Valley’s economy remains one of the most innovative in the nation. Employment is growing again and per capita income has been rising; however, median household income has remained flat for over the past decade.
- S O C I E T Y
- While Silicon Valley’s overall educational performance has been improving, significant variations by race and ethnicity still exist. Health care outcomes remained relatively unchanged. Crime rates declined slightly.
- P L A C E
- Silicon Valley is preserving open space, increasing housing density and approving housing near transit. However, transit ridership is declining. Housing affordability improved slightly and is now above the California average.
- G O V E R N A N C E
- Silicon Valley local revenues continued to be constrained, but voters have approved a majority of revenue generating measures.