04/10/2021

News

San Jose regional economy strong, but challenges imperil job growth

“Silicon Valley’s innovation economy grew faster in 2016 than in 2015, and it outpaced all rival tech hubs. Last year, job growth in innovation industries was 8 percent in Santa Clara County; 7 percent in Austin, Texas; 4 percent in New York City; 3 percent in Boston; and 2 percent both in Seattle and Southern California, according to the report, by San Jose-based Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Mountain View-based Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Yet soaring housing prices, brutal traffic snarls and troubling education results are among the flaws that threaten to undermine the economy in Silicon Valley, the report stated.”

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Bay Area: Tech job growth has rapidly decelerated

The technology industry’s job growth in the nine-county region has dramatically decelerated, according to this newspaper’s analysis of figures released by state labor officials and Beacon Economics. Tech’s annual job growth throttled back to 3.5 percent, or 26,700 new jobs, in 2016. That’s much slower than the 6 percent annual gain of 42,300 jobs in 2015, or the 6.4 percent gain in 2014.

And while the industry’s 3.5 percent growth last year is still a sturdy annual pace, Bay Area technology companies have already disclosed plans to slash about 2,000 jobs in the first three months of 2017.

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Jerry Brown’s pension reforms have done little to rein in costs

Instead, legislators tinkered at the margins, passing some of Brown’s proposals but rejecting those with the biggest cost-savings potential. Although Brown touted it as the “biggest rollback to public pension benefits in the history of California,” it is now clear that the package of modest changes he signed into law in 2012 has done little to slow the growth of retirement costs. New projections show the state’s annual bill for retirement obligations is expected to reach $11 billion by the time Brown leaves office in January 2019 — nearly double what it was eight years earlier.

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Unions given preference for jobs on $500 million Bay Area wetlands tax

In a move that critics say could increase costs and delay projects, a low-profile government agency responsible for handing out $500 million to restore San Francisco Bay’s wetlands and improve flood control has ruled that most of the construction contracts must be awarded to union workers.

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Report: Racial, economic disparities have led to Bay Area’s ‘resegregation’

The Bay Area’s black population experienced a dramatic migration into outer suburban parts of the region over a 14-year span, the result of the rising cost of living in inner regions, according to a new report by the Oakland nonprofit Urban Habitat.

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California’s skyrocketing housing costs, taxes prompt exodus of residents

A growing number of Bay Area residents — besieged by home prices, worsening traffic, high taxes and a generally more expensive cost of living — believe life would be better just about anywhere else but here.

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San Francisco, New York, San Jose: costliest cities for renters

All of this is an uncomfortable reminder of how difficult it is for low-income and middle-class earners to get by in the Bay Area. The median price for a one-bedroom apartment is $3,590 in San Francisco, $2,290 in San Jose and $2,270 in Oakland, according to the report.

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Tech layoffs more than double in Bay Area

Yahoo’s 279 workers let go this year contributed to the 3,135 tech jobs lost in the four-county region of Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda and San Francisco counties from January through April, as did the 50 workers axed at Toshiba America in Livermore and the 71 at Autodesk in San Francisco. In the first four months of last year, just 1,515 Bay Area tech workers were laid off, according to mandatory filings under California’s WARN Act. For that period in 2014, the region’s tech layoffs numbered 1,330.

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Tesla tourism: Tax break proposed for out-of-staters picking up California cars

Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino, said it would only benefit high-income, out-of-state residents who don’t need tax incentives. Although she supports the growth of the California electric-vehicle maker, she said, “I don’t even know if anyone in our district even owns a Tesla.”

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School taxes: Majority in California would extend tax on rich

In a poll released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California, a solid majority — 62 percent — of likely voters supported extending for 12 years Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 income tax increase on individuals earning over $250,000 to pay for education and health care. An initiative being circulated by teachers unions and health care organizations would put that proposal before voters in November.

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Intel slashing 12,000 jobs from global workforce

Intel is slashing its global workforce by 12,000 jobs, or 11 percent of its employees, as the chip giant grapples with a dramatically shifting market for its products.

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Serial ADA lawsuit filer striking Bay Area

Misson thought the problem was resolved, so he was shocked when he received a demand for a $25,000 settlement, which would only get higher if he didn’t pay it immediately. That’s when Misson first learned about Scott Johnson, owner of Disabled Access Prevents Injury Inc. Johnson has filed thousands of ADA lawsuits across Northern California for what experts say is millions of dollars in settlements and attorney fees. . . “A disproportionate number of businesses sued by Scott Johnson are … owned by immigrants and minorities,” Welch said. “The protection racket plays well with immigrant businessmen unfamiliar with the American legal system.”

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Job growth to slow in California, but no recession on horizon: forecast

In contrast, inflation in California is expected to worsen. Consumer prices, the metric that economists use to quantify inflation, rose 1.5 percent statewide during 2015, but are expected to rise by an annual pace of 2.3 percent in 2016. In 2017, consumer prices in California are expected to jump 3.5 percent.

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California’s new minimum wage expected to boost Bay Area automation firms

The state’s new minimum wage law, signed into law Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown, is expected to give a boost to Silicon Valley’s burgeoning robot and automation industry as businesses seek to replace increasingly expensive workers.

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Tech-Fueled Job Market Powers Record Boom for Silicon Valley: Report

The economy and job market in Silicon Valley chalked up an “astounding” year in 2015, but the region’s boom cooled in the final three months as the stock markets weakened, according to a new Silicon Valley Index report released Wednesday. . . However, this year’s report arrived with some hazards in tow. The 2016 Silicon Valley Index warned of a shrinking middle class, fewer jobs available at mid-level wages, rising housing costs and worsening transportation. These problems, the study warned, could imperil the boom.

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