Silicon Valley tech companies have good reason to be concerned about President Donald Trump’s plans to review the H-1B visa program, which has been crucial in providing them access to foreign labor. It wouldn’t be such a big deal, though, if they didn’t put their offices in such expensive places.
The valley’s biggest employers each host thousands of workers under the H-1B program, designed to help employers hire skilled overseas labor when qualified Americans are not available. At Facebook Inc. alone, more than 15 percent of employees hold such visas. Yet the tech industry doesn’t have a skills shortage so much as a shortage of employees who can afford to live within commuting distance of their jobs. . . . no matter how high employee wages go, the limited housing supply leaves the region unaffordable for a large number of workers.
According to a new report from the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Business Council, exorbitant housing costs in Los Angeles, the second most populous city in the US, are inhibiting employers from attracting "high-performers," or top talent, to their companies.
Moves out of the area remain far below levels seen during last decade’s housing bubble, when out-migration was nearly triple what it was in 2016 — and real estate agents urged clients to “drive until you qualify.”
But after slowing down in the aftermath of the Great Recession, which devastated the housing market, out-migration is picking up as prices climb steadily higher, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
To escape high prices, people — often younger and with lower- or middle-class incomes — are looking toward the Inland Empire and nearby states for additional square footage and a lower mortgage payment.
The million-dollar home prices about 85 miles west, in San Francisco and San Jose, have pushed aspiring homeowners to look inland. Patterson’s population has doubled since the 2000 census. Average monthly rents have climbed from about $900 in 2014 to nearly $1,600 in recent months, according to the apartment database Rent Jungle, compounding the hardships of the foreclosure crisis, the shuttering of several local agricultural businesses and surging substance abuse rates.
Housing costs are deterring top-talent from entering the Los Angeles job market, and leading to higher costs in recruiting and retaining employees, according to a new survey released today by Raphael Bostic, a USC Price School of Public Policy Professor and the newly appointed head of the Atlanta Federal Reserve. Bostic led a team of USC researchers in surveying major L.A. employers accounting for nearly 200,000 jobs in key sectors including utilities, healthcare, education, government, engineering and finance. The resulting report, The Affordable Housing Crisis in Los Angeles: An Employer Perspective, released in partnership with the Los Angeles Business Council, focuses on how the high cost of housing in the region has affected employers and puts forth key recommendations.