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Valley still the highest tech employer
si Team
Friday, September 1, 2006
When the tech bubble burst in the late 90s, the air was rife with talks about Silicon Valley, the face of the emergent sector fading into oblivion. And as software professionals from wher the Valley started flocking the country, lock, stock and barrel, after having lost their lucrative jobs, there was reason enough to believe that the worst would indeed come true.

That was a long time ago though. In the intervening period, the tech industry has more than recovered, and if the recent report by the AeA (American Electronics Association) is to be believed, the famed Silicon Valley may well be on the path to resurgence.

The AeA, U.S.’ largest trade association representing all segments of the high-tech industry study points out that San Jose still remains the California’s largest technology hub, employing over 214,900 tech industry workers, and paying the highest annual average wage at $126,700.

Significantly, the report also reveals that high-tech job losses are leveling off in the Valley; only 10,500 jobs were lost in 2004 as compared to 27,800 in the previous year.
Notably, the San Francisco-Oakland metro area leads the state in software publishing employment with 17,100 jobs and ranks third in overall employment with 156,700 tech workers, also paying the third highest annual wage at $96,900.

“The Bay Area remains the preeminent location in both the state and the country to conduct high-tech business,” says Julie Biagini, Executive Vice President of Endwave Corporation and Chairperson of AeA’s Bay Area Council. “Over a quarter of the Valley’s workforce is employed by the tech industry. These jobs pay incredibly well, 75 percent more than the average private sector wage.”

Though the valley still remains the face of the tech-industry, and its current re-emergence, industry watchers caution against possible complacence.

“To ensure job growth in the coming years we have a lot of work to do. San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and California have to be seen as friendly places to do business and to live. To this end, it is very important that our schools equip kids with necessary skills to compete in the 21st century, particularly in math and science. Besides, we must press our national leaders to allow the best and brightest from around the world to work for our companies, study in our world-class universities, and start new companies here,” says Biagini.
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