SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

February 5, 2014

Silicon Valley economy back at dot-com era highs

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Jobs, income and investment keep soaring in Silicon Valley, but the growth is also driving up housing costs and widening the gap between the rich and poor, a report released yesterday says.

“The economy is sizzling any way you slice it and it’s about to get hotter, but having said that, we are quick to point out there are perils with our prosperity,” said Russell Hancock, president of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, which released its annual Silicon Valley Index in conjunction with the philanthropic Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

The region added nearly 47,000 jobs in 2013, up 3 percent over the previous year, and the total number of jobs has surpassed pre-recession levels. Many are high wage jobs — 45 percent of households now earn more than $100,000, and per capita income is above $70,000 a year, much higher than the state average of about $44,000.

Meanwhile unemployment has fallen to less than 6 percent.

However, Silicon Valley Community Foundation president Emmett Carson said not everyone is benefiting.

“We have the highest, high wage, high growth sectors in the country but rising tides do not lift all boats,” Carson said.

The growing divide between rich and poor is driven by an overwhelming demand for housing, according to the report. Last year, the region gained more than 33,000 new residents but only 6,500 new homes.

“It’s been tough because we’ve seen the cost of housing skyrocket and we’ve seen our pay plummet,” said James Gonzales, a 13-year veteran of the San Jose Police Department and a leader of the police union.

Public employees lost wages and benefits during the recession, cuts that made it impossible for Gonzales and many of his colleagues to make their mortgage payments.

He sold his condominium and now lives in nearby Sunnyvale where he rents. Recent pay increases aren’t enough to get him back into the housing market, he said, and new hires aren’t even looking for homes in San Jose.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • 140725_ET_PBI_MBRALLY_1.jpg PHOTO SLIDESHOW: MARKET BASKET RALLY Thousands of people converged at the site of the Tewksbury store this morning for another rally by employees and supporters who feel disenfranchised by the ouster of CEO Arthur T. Demoulas by the company board of directors led by his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas.

    July 25, 2014

  • Hamilton church volunteers assaulted in Guatemala

    A local church group returning to Guatemala City airport after eight days of mission work was attacked Tuesday.

    July 25, 2014

  • BREAKING: Market Basket board to consider sale to Arthur T. Demoulas

    BOSTON — Market Basket’s board of directors this afternoon announced it will consider offers to buy the company, including that from ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas. His offer will be considered “along with any other offers previously received and to b

    July 25, 2014 7 Stories

  • Drama builds today in Market Basket saga

    July 25, 2014

  • 140721_GT_MSP_MARKETBASKET_04 [Duplicate] Ousted CEO bids for Market Basket Arthur T. Demoulas' offer to buy the rest of the supermarket chain embroiled in a widespread protest and boycott was met with elation, and then a reality check, protest organizers said Thursday. Demoulas announced his offer Wednesday night, though he

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo