Last year, we speculated that our region’s ability to sustain its post-recession growth may be eroding. This year’s update of selected indicators strengthen the case for concern. The region’s innovation industries experienced strong growth in 2016, but substantially lower than that of 2015. More people are now moving out than moving into our prosperous but […]
In order to ensure the Bay Area’s economic vitality and resilience despite increasing boom and bust cycles, public and private sector leaders must come together around pragmatic solutions to persistent issues and barriers to success. The purpose of the Regional Economic Strategy Roadmap is to offer concrete actions for growing regional prosperity and a flexible framework for developing actions going forward. Its proposals are evergreen agents of economic resilience, strategies wise in both expansion and downtown, necessary to accelerate the former and dampen the latter. It is a recipe for a robust and enduring regional economy.
The extent of income inequality in any region such as the Bay Area is a result of local, state and national policies, and is exacerbated by economic factors such as technological progress and globalization. And, while local policies alone are largely inadequate to address the issue of extreme inequality, there are a variety of options that can ameliorate the effects. This report includes data on Bay Area income inequality, comparisons to the state and nation, a discussion of the root causes of inequality, and a set of local policy options.
The Bay Area’s prosperity is threatened by fragmentation in the public transit system: Riders and decision-makers contend with more than two dozen transit operators. Despite significant spending on building and maintaining transit — and in contrast to the crowding along some key corridors — overall ridership has not been growing in our region.
In this first year, the SVCIP finds that highly productive, talented workers are the undisputed foundation of the region’s strength in innovation and in attracting businesses, despite the region’s high costs. It then identifies the critical public policy issues that need to be addressed to develop, attract and retain talent for the region’s continued success. Those issues include immigration, STEM and early education, housing and transportation. R&D funding, tax policies and the cost of doing business also emerge as issues of strategic concern for the region.
In January 2014, there were nearly 60,000 jobs in Bay Area’s “core” clean economy. These core jobs were in a range of businesses that provide the products and services that allow the entire economy to transition away from fossil fuels and improve efficiencies in the use of natural resources.
The San Francisco Bay Area is in the midst of a strong recovery from the past decade’s economic downturn. However, the benefits of prosperity are not universally shared. In the Bay Area, more than 1.1 million workers — over a third of the total workforce — earn less than $18 per hour.
The second reason why the Index is troubling is because our prosperity is not widely shared. It is a story the Index has been telling for many years, but in this 2014 installment the gaps and disparities are more pronounced than ever. These are the hard facts: our income gains are limited to those with ultra high-end skills. Median wages for low- and middle-skilled workers are relatively stagnant and the share of households with mid-level incomes has fallen in Silicon Valley more than in the state and nation. Disparities by race are more persistent than ever. We also saw a sharp increase in homelessness.
The labor market recovery in the East Bay has been relatively lackluster during recent months, although the slowdown is expected to be temporary. According to the California Employment Development Department, the East Bay’s August payroll number was 992,200, just about the average of the preceding months. On a year-over-year basis, nonfarm employment increased by 0.8%, or 7,800 jobs in total.
The South Bay continues to be one of the regions driving California’s overall employment growth. For the first eight months of 2013, total nonfarm employment in the South Bay was up 3% over the same period last year. The state, on the other hand, was up 1.7%.
The San Francisco Metropolitan Division (MD) continued its leading role in California’s employment recovery in the third quarter of 2013. In August, the region added over 21,000 jobs on a year-over-year basis. That 2.1% increase represented the fourth fastest growth rate in California behind San Jose, the Central Coast, and Orange County. The San Francisco MD is one of a handful of regions in the state to have exceeded their pre-recession peak employment levels.
Workers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields play a direct role in driving economic growth. Yet, because of how the STEM economy has been defined, policymakers have mainly focused on supporting workers with at least a bachelor’s (BA) degree, overlooking a strong potential workforce of those with less education but substantial STEM skills.
To successfully compete, we must emulate what other states and nations are doing to attract high-skill, high-wage, high-tech and manufacturing jobs that ultimately help create more jobs across many manufacturing jobs that ultimately help create more jobs across many sectors. And, we must enact a series of game changers that will help make our state a leading economic engine once again.
. . .plan for creating more widespread prosperity across the county.
. . .describing the history and implications of Proposition 13 in the context of changing economic and fiscal circumstances.