SANTA CLARA COUNTY - SILICON VALLEY
LEADING THE NATION IN REBOUNDING ECONOMY
The Joint Venture Silicon Valley State of the Valley Conference held this past January was again illuminating in its statistics regarding the rallying economic prospects of our community.
Our region has added more jobs than in any other area of California with 42,360 new positions. We now represent the 17th largest economy in the world, larger than Saudi Arabia and Sweden. If you include San Francisco in the mix, this number swells significantly and we also become an area with a greater need for regional planning. With 100 plus local cities Bay Area wide, jobs, housing, transit and climate change must be part of the discussions for regional planning.
Community infrastructure employment has expanded by 3% over last year adding some 26,000 new jobs. Commercial space rents have increased slightly in 2012, while in Santa Clara County overall vacancy rates continue to fall. Office space dominates new commercial development. While all this appears to be good news, in fact, middle income households are feeling the squeeze. Wages have dropped across all groups with the exception of those persons holding graduate or professional degrees.
The housing starts market increased by 5% last year, but is still 42% lower than at peak levels in 2006. Average home prices remain stable, sales inching up and foreclosures down by 50% when compared to 2008. Residential rents have reached historic highs ($1,966 per unit) as home affordability for first-time buyers falls to an average price up 12% in 2012 to $671,926.
While media has played up the "crime wave" of San Jose, in 2012 felonies and drug offenses were on the decline. Assault rates remain lower in our region when compared to the rest of California.
The 49r's new 68,000+ seats, state of the art stadium employs approximately 825 construction workers per day giving our area a big boost in construction man hours. Other large projects include the Palo Alto Medical Foundation building, The Plaza at Triton Park, and Santa Clara Gateway. Google is also pushing for a private jet center at Mineta Airport in San Jose.
A rebound in Local 393 man hours by nearly 25% in 2012 confirms that we are heading in the right direction and again, our valley will be leading the nation out of one of the worst recessions since the great depression.