Research Brief

Silicon Valley Employment Trends

September 2017

Silicon Valley job growth continued through the fourth quarter of 2016 – reaching an all-time high of 1.62 million workers – albeit at a slower pace than the rapid gains of the post-recession recovery period and subsequent booming growth-period of 2013-2015. Unemployment rates in May 2017 hit a low not seen since the boom. And although job growth continued, 2016 growth was uneven with respect to wage/skill levels, and the wage gap between Tier 1 and Tier 3 jobs continued to increase. Furthermore, although the Q4 2016 data indicates that the region’s “tech” jobs were on pace for nearly 4% growth over the past year, the actual growth rate will likely be lower than that due to large layoffs at some of the region’s major tech companies.