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Businesses The Almighty Buck United States Technology

Bay Area Tech Job Growth Has Rapidly Decelerated (mercurynews.com) 161

An anonymous reader shares a MercuryNews report: Job growth in the tech industry used to zoom like a race car, but these days, hiring by this principal driver of the Bay Area's economy chugs along more like a family SUV. 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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Bay Area Tech Job Growth Has Rapidly Decelerated

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2017 @10:48AM (#53856117)

    It's 2017, and you're a technology company, no, I will not move to the Bay Area.

    • by Salgak1 ( 20136 ) <salgak.speakeasy@net> on Monday February 13, 2017 @10:52AM (#53856145) Homepage

      Add to that, get asked to move to the Bay Area, and not get offered a pay raise. OR Relocation.

      A former colleague of mine got offered a job as a subcontractor at Apple. She sold her 4-BR house, and most of the furniture, and gave her dog away. . . for enough money to rent a BEDROOM. . . .

      Pass. . .

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        she gave her dog away...? She deserves worse.

        • by Salgak1 ( 20136 )

          I know. That right there would have killed the deal. But, apparently, the job was "sexy". Not that she kept it for long. She's gone through 6 jobs since then (less than 2 years ago), and, at least from her LinkedIn, returned "home". . .

      • why on earth did she accept?
      • by Anonymous Coward

        As someone who got offered a job at Apple (and accepted). I got paid my entire moving expenses, including moving all of my furniture across the Atlantic, plus stipends to re-acquire things like cars and electrical goods that weren't appropriate for moving to the US.

        I call bullshit on your story for that reason.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          "subcontractor"

        • A former colleague of mine got offered a job as a subcontractor at Apple

          Probably not being given the full Apple Treatment.

  • The problem when any one area becomes really hot like the Bay Area has over the last thirty years is that it reaches a point when increasing costs outstrip even the lucrative pay and entertainment options. This becomes especially true as one gets a little older and the demands of family make indulging in those entertainment options impossible or at least difficult.

    That's before you even factor in those now-established employers turning to look inward to figure out what they can do to reduce costs, and p
    • by xtal ( 49134 )

      Perhaps people are realizing when your market is global, you don't necessary have to be in the Bay area to develop; indeed, when you consider overheads, it seems silly, as there's good programmers everywhere.

      • Re:Hit peak? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashikiNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday February 13, 2017 @10:58AM (#53856191) Homepage

        Perhaps people are realizing when your market is global, you don't necessary have to be in the Bay area to develop; indeed, when you consider overheads, it seems silly, as there's good programmers everywhere.

        The only reason companies stay in the Bay area is because of connections and the ability to quickly find venture capital. If that wasn't an issue you wouldn't see this going on at all.

        • There are other reasons. Only about two years ago, I spoke to someone who had just moved his startup from Austin to the Bay Area. This is someone who has profitably exited several startups, so he has some credibility.

          His reason to move: in Austin, he can't find employees who can afford to work for little to no salary while the startup bootstraps itself. In the Bay Area, there are larger numbers of people who are both inclined to take a risk and wealthy enough to afford it.

      • by TWX ( 665546 )
        I've been to SF before, it's a very fun city, especially if you're single and have money. That's what attracts people there. Unfortunately the more people with money that show up, the more expensive it gets and the more money you need in order to qualify.
    • Too high of a concentration of anything is a cancer. I used to live in San Francisco, now I am in one of the southern California beach cities. I missed The City for a while... it is(/was) nice being in a place with soul... but I am sad to see just how much high tech jobs and money is moving into this area. I also look at various places in the midwest suffering brain drain, and it is easy to see that things must change for a sustainable future.

      When you are looking at rent of $1,000/month per employee for
  • cost of housing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2017 @10:57AM (#53856179)

    Studios, 1, 2 bedroom apts are ~$2000, $2500, $3000 respectively. Rooms are $1000-1500/mo.

    • by knightghost ( 861069 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @11:10AM (#53856279)

      My 2700 sqft house on a quarter acre with unlimited free water costs $500/month in Idaho - only a 2 hour flight away from SoCal and 1 time zone.
      I also have 5 acres of forest overlooking a large lake a couple hours away - $150/month.

      SV and others need to expand to nearby cities.

      • by creimer ( 824291 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @11:27AM (#53856383) Homepage

        SV and others need to expand to nearby cities.

        The exodus is already on for Silicon Valley as people flee to nearby regions. I'm hoping to transfer to the Sacramento Valley this summer. For what I pay for a studio apartment in Silicon Valley, I could get a three-bedroom apartment in Sacramento. Unfortunately, real estate prices are starting to spike there as well.

        • Sacramento valley? Yes, it may be cheaper, but, then you have to live in the Sacramento Valley.
        • Unfortunately, real estate prices are starting to spike there as well.

          A friend of mine (who is not an engineer) says "engineers spoil everything".

      • by geek ( 5680 )

        My 2700 sqft house on a quarter acre with unlimited free water costs $500/month in Idaho - only a 2 hour flight away from SoCal and 1 time zone.
        I also have 5 acres of forest overlooking a large lake a couple hours away - $150/month.

        SV and others need to expand to nearby cities.

        QFT. I moved to Idaho 8 years ago and will never go back. The amount I save on cost of living alone will mean the difference between retiring comfortably or not at all. I truly do not understand why people continue to work and live in SV. The one industry on Earth where you truly do not need to live where you work and they continue to flock like lemmings to the same horrible area.

        • by Nethead ( 1563 )

          I hear it, I'm in a native fishing village in Washington with a 7 mile commute to my aerospace IT job. Paying a bit more than you but well under $1000/mo for lease and utilities, 2300 sqft and sound view a block off the water. I won't think of taking a job south of Everett.

      • To be fair I and many others probably couldn't imagine worse. I actually own a 2200sqft house on a relatively large properly. I lived in it for a few years and now I rent it out and instead live in a sub 1000sqft apartment in a citycentre. It's a lifestyle choice. Money isn't in the equation here, it would have made more financial sense to stay in the house.

        But people can rapidly get addicted to the city lifestyle to the point where room sharing is not a financial necessity but also a life goal.

        I must say I

    • by creimer ( 824291 )
      My 475-sft studio apartment in San Jose is $1466 per month. I only make $50K+ per year as an IT support technician.
    • As others have said anywhere outside the big cities that would be a mortgage on a million dollar home.

    • When I worked as a tech at UCSF in the late '70s I was paying $250 / month for a room in a large Victorian, a block from the hospital. Bog knows what the place is going for now.

      Time and inflation. Amazing concepts.

  • by frank_adrian314159 ( 469671 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @11:01AM (#53856209) Homepage

    There's a shortage of tech workers to hire. Industry must have increased H1B caps!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They're realizing that they can't keep importing indentured servants. The 21st century's Big Cotton is collapsing.

  • by randomErr ( 172078 ) <ervin...kosch@@@gmail...com> on Monday February 13, 2017 @11:10AM (#53856275) Journal
    I read through the comments local people are saying:
    • * Lay-off / Buy Out older workers to hire lower pay college graduates
    • * Hiring H1B Workers [h1bdata.info]
    • * Redundant technology with smaller similar companies merging into larger companies - Social Networks, photo, video. and texting applications and websites
    • * Off-shoring jobs
  • by creimer ( 824291 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @11:12AM (#53856289) Homepage
    LinkedIn says there are 100,000+ tech jobs available in the San Francisco Bay Area.
    • LinkedIn says there are 100,000+ tech jobs available in the San Francisco Bay Area.

      LinkedIn endorses me for several languages and skills I've never learned.

    • by nickovs ( 115935 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @01:15PM (#53857379)

      The two facts are not at necessarily odds with each other. The reporting is on the number of people employed; LinkedIn tells you the number of open vacancies. The problem is that with the housing capacity tapped out and the cost of living through the roof it is becoming increasingly hard to fill the jobs that exist, so hiring is slowing down. Cities in the Bay Area from San Mateo to Sunnyvale have been building office space faster than they have been building homes and is this is the result.

  • There seems to be this idea that Silicon Valley is the center of all things tech. It really only accounts for a tiny fraction of the Tech labor force. What makes it "special" is the access to venture capital. If you had a big idea and wanted to be the next Facebook or Instagram sure, Silicon Valley might be for you. If you want to be a computer programer you could stay in any big Midwest City, make $150K (Full Time W2)/200+K (1099 Contract), and pay less than $1000/mo for home mortgage.

  • by p51d007 ( 656414 ) on Monday February 13, 2017 @11:23AM (#53856357)
    Dump some of the H1B visas, send those people back to where they came from, hire U.S. citizens at a good wage. The other issue is there are too many "startups" that do nothing but drain money. They don't PRODUCE anything.
    • How many "tech" companies, startup or otherwise, in the bay area are "producing" anything? And where do you draw the line anyway?

      I hear how instagram is this amazing success story, but it's fucking picture sharing. Facebook, Twitter? They're good ways to kill a few minutes and I understand they've made a lot of money for a few people. And sure, not everything needs to be getting flying cars and curing cancer.

      Google might be making self-driving cars that could stop a lot of road deaths. Tesla is makin
      • you could say the same of most of the comforts of life including the internet and personal computers and smart phones...just conveniences we don't need in the absolute sense.

        economy is made of many such things. since I'm old I know most of what we have isn't "necessary". I spent more than half my life without cell phone, electronic ignition and fuel injection, microwave oven, etc.......but man am I glad for such things and if you want to take them from me I'll fight you 8D

    • I don't see the problem with crappy startups. They are like a parasite sucking money from venture capitalists, it creates jobs, even if they are just crappy ones.

  • Even if they were to hire more people it would be from outside the country. Whether hiring stalls or is accelerating it doesn't make a difference to americans.

  • chugs along more like a family SUV.

    Obviously the author has not seen how "family" SUVs are driven. I can assure you, they do not chug along. More like, "Prepare for ramming speed! [youtube.com]"
  • I'm seeing more and more tech companies that are headquartered in the Bay Area, and hiring mostly remote workers. With the right kind of team leader, and the right workers, a remote team can be nearly as effective as an in-house team, and costs are not as high. I wonder if these stats are skewed by remote workers, since they are technically not in the "Bay Area", even though the HQ may be?
  • I think my subject text says it all. I live on the Front Range of Colorado and the place is growing like crazy, as I think we're taking some of the overflow from the Silicon Valley. There's plenty of land to accommodate the growth but home builders are way behind in meeting the need.
    • One of my wife's uncles lives out in the front range on 40 acres that has been in the family for generations. The problem with Californians is that they move out into the country and then bitch because there are country people out there who do country things, although this isn't limited to just Californians but seems to be urban people moving to rural areas. For my wife's uncle it is that he hunts from his back porch and has had the cops called on him because someone saw a person with a gun, for my neighbor
  • This is what happens when you don't buy your family new iPhones every year. You should feel ashamed, don't you know that a lot of us have 7 figure mortgages to pay?

The easiest way to figure the cost of living is to take your income and add ten percent.

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