Silicon Valley faces slowdown

Market watchers have keyed in to a series of statistics suggesting breakneck growth in Silicon Valley has begun to slow down.

“Tech companies in San Francisco and San Mateo counties lost 700 jobs from January to February and tech employment has dropped by 3,200 jobs since hitting a peak last August,” the New York Times observed, citing chief San Francisco economist Ted Egan. “Venture capital has peaked and has been going down steadily since 2015,” said Egan. “A lot of the employment in our tech sector is in companies that are not profitable. If they can’t secure new venture funding, some of them run out of cash. If we see a real downturn in the tech sector we could be in a situation where the U.S. economy is doing better than San Francisco’s.”

For months, Bay Area businesses and investors have had to adjust to unfamiliar economic terrain. “The drop continues a year-long slowdown of the economic machine that powers Silicon Valley’s tech sector, leaving some startups resorting to layoffs and other cost-cutting measures to make ends meet,” the San Jose Mercury News reported. “But analysts say they’d better get used to it — investment activity isn’t going to return to the highs the industry saw in 2014 and 2015 any time soon. Instead, they say, the lower numbers represent a new, more sustainable normal as investors become more selective.”

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