State of the Valley


Upon review of data and survey results from Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, it is clear that residents are leaving the valley because of the high cost of living and housing costs, with Latinx, Black, women, renters, low-income, and respondents under age 35 being most concerned about financial insecurity.  The youth population is decreasing, where residents under the age of 18 decreased 3.3% between 2018-19 while the age group between 18-14 decreased by 1%. Further, the rate at which students graduate high school is declining in the area, though more students are eligible for direct access to a UC or CSU campus.


Survey of Silicon Valley Poll, 2021

The following are key findings from the annual poll [1] conducted by Joint Venture Silicon Valley.

  • Residents are leaving the valley because of the high cost of living and housing costs.
    • 56% of survey respondents reported they are likely to leave the region in “the next few years.” This is up nine percentage points from last year.
    • The overall cost of living (84%) and high housing costs (77%) are the main reasons reported for wanting to move.
    • 76% of survey respondents indicated the cost of housing as the most serious problem in the Bay Area, followed by the cost of living, homelessness and the increasing frequency of wildfires and drought.
    • 72% of survey respondents think the Silicon Valley as a “good” or “excellent” place to pursue a career, but the rates are far lower for Black respondents at 60%.
  • Financial insecurity is a serious concern in the valley, with Latinx, Black, women, renters, low-income, and respondents under age 35 being most concerned.
    • 40% of survey respondents report feeling financially insecure with higher percentages reported for Latinx, Black and women (44%) respondents.
    • Feelings of housing and food insecurity are greatest for renters (51%) with 20% of renters in the Valley reporting they suffered a pay cut due to reduced hours or demand and 15% of renters reported they were laid off or permanently lost a job.
    • 24% of respondents reporting their income to be less than $50,000 a year had to take a cut in pay, 20% were furloughed or temporarily laid off and 23% said they were laid off permanently or lost a job. This group is also the most likely to be worried about rent, mortgage, groceries, or food.
    • 46% of respondents under the age of 35 were worried about paying for food and housing.

Silicon Valley Index

The following draws from the Silicon Valley Index[2] published by Joint Venture Silicon Valley for Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

Demographics

  • The youth population is decreasing.
    • Residents under the age of 18 decreased 3.3% between 2018-19 while 18-14 decreased by 1% and 25-44 remained stable.
  • The valley is largely comprised of residents who identify as Asian, white and Latinx.
    • In 2019, the counties were comprised of 35% Asian, 33% white, 25% Latino/a/x, 5% multiple races and 2% African American/Black.
  • There is a large divide between science and engineering degrees conferred at universities in the valley with far fewer women conferring a STEM degree than men.
    • In 2019, 38% of awards were conferred to women and 62% conferred to men, a trend that has held over the past ten years prior.
  • Spanish is largely spoken at home followed by Chinese.
    • In 2019, 34% of county residents spoke Spanish at home while 18% spoke Chinese, 12% spoke an Indo-European language, 10% Vietnamese, 8% other Asian and Pacific Islander language, 8% Tagalog, 2% a Slavic Language and 2% Korean.

Economy

  • Job growth has been declining.
    • In 2019-20 within the county, job growth decreased by 9%.
  • Community infrastructure and services is the highest area of employment.
    • 50% of all jobs in the Valley are in the area of community infrastructure and services followed by 27% in innovation and information products and services, 16% in business infrastructure and services, 4% in other areas, and 4% in other manufacturing fields.
  • The average annual earning within the valley are $152,185 per year.
    • This rate is slightly higher than San Francisco ($149,759), above the Bay Area ($126,808) and above the state ($86,437) and nation ($71,671). Average wages in the Valley have grown the greatest with year over year growth since 2009.

Poverty and Basic Needs

  • Poverty in the valley affects 6% of the population.
    • The rate is lower than the rest of the Bay Area, state and nation, but still results in 6% of the population living in poverty.
    • The poverty rate has decreased from 10% in 2012. While 6% of resident live below the poverty line, another 24% live above the poverty line but below the standard of living within the valley, for a combined 30% of the population not making enough money to meet household self-sufficiency standards.
  • Food insecurity is a hardship for 21% of the population.
    • In 2021, 21% of the population reported food insecurity, up from 15% the prior year with 33% of children receiving free or reduced-price lunch.

High School Graduates

  • The rate of high school graduates is declining with more students eligible for UC and CSU.
    • High school graduation rates declined slightly in 2020 from prior years to 83% while the rate of students who are UC and CSU eligible upon graduation increased to 63%, above that of the state where 50% of students are eligible for direct entry into the public university system in the state.
  • UC/CSU eligibility rates vary by ethnicity.
    • While UC/CSU eligibility rates have increased in the valley, they vary by ethnicity with the Valley failing to adequately prepare African American/Black, Latino/a/x and Pacific Islander students at the highest rates with only around 41% of these students groups meeting eligibility. In contrast, 84% of Asian and 70% of white students were eligible upon graduation.

Internet and Computer Access

  • Almost all residents report access to computers and internet but low income families are most affected by lack of access to both.
    • 96% of households in the Valley report having access to a computer and 93% with internet, while these rates are above the state average, the rate at which low-income households are disproportionately within internet and computer access is troublesome with 24% of low-income families lacking internet access at home.

Job Projections

Associate Degree, Certificate or Some College

  • The greatest growth in job openings in the valley with are in the health sciences.

Top 20 occupational projections by percent increase in projected openings between 2018 and 2028 requiring an associate degree, certificate or some college in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Occupational Title Projected Employment Increase Median Annual Wage
Occupational Therapy Assistants 33.3% $53,883
Respiratory Therapists 27.4% $100,970
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers 25% $102,564
Physical Therapist Assistants 20% $75,730
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other 19.8% not available
Agricultural and Food Science Technicians 19.3% not available
Medical Assistants 19.3% $47,033
Web Developers 19.1% not available
Life, Physical and Social Science Technicians, All Other 16.7% $66,394
Paralegals and Legal Assistants 16.6% $88,161
Radiologic Technologists 16.5% $87,610
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education 16.3% $39,142
Massage Therapists 16.3% $34,487
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians 15.2% not available
Nursing Assistants 14.9% not available
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Workers, All Other 14.8% not available
Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers 14.7% $70,279
Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic 14.6% not available
Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians 14.3% $70,756
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists 14.3% $98,539

Bachelor's Degree

  • The greatest growth in job openings in the valley with a bachelor's degree are varied and include design, software, research, sciences and medical fields.

Top 20 occupational projections by percent increase in projected openings between 2018 and 2028 requiring a bachelor's degree in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Occupational Title Projected Employment Increase Median Annual Wage
Film and Video Editors 37.9% not available
Information Security Anaysts 33.6% not available
Operations Research Analysts 33.1% $96,833
Proofreaders and Copy Makers 30.0% not available
Software Developers, Applications 25.2% not available
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 23.5% $97,883
Substance Abuse, Behavorial Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors 22.0% $54,780
Medical and Health Services Managers 18.7% $129,964
Financial Managers 18.6% $164,967
Social Science Research Assistants 17.6% $51,215
Biological Scientists, All Other 17.1% $107,548
Social Scientists and Related Workers 16.7% $86,895
Athletic Trainers 16.7% $63,851
Statistical Assistants 16.7% $60,671
Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program 16.0% $51,629
 Coaches and Scouts 15.2%  $40,889
 Registered Nurses 15.1% $149,520
 Biological Technicians 15.0% $63,391
 Financial Specialists, All Other 14.4% no available
 Training and Development Specialists 14.3% $88,058

Source: California Employment Development Department (EDD)


 [1] https://jointventure.org/images/stories/pdf/sv-poll-2021-report.pdf

[2] https://jointventure.org/publications/silicon-valley-index

Back to Top