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Numbers show Silicon Valley is fading as labor market shrinks

September 24, 2017

taipeitimes – excerpt

The construction of large corporate headquarters and skyscrapers often turns out to be a sign of an economic peak.

The Empire State Building was planned, and construction began, at the onset of the Great Depression. The Willis Tower, originally known as the Sears Tower, began construction right before the stock market crash of 1973-1974. Soon after, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, which eventually disrupted Sears Holdings Corp’s business model, began trading as a public company. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world, was under construction as the global financial crisis began in 2008.

That history gives a bit of an ominous feel to the new US$5 billion headquarters for Apple Inc in Silicon Valley.

The most valuable publicly traded company in the world unveiled its iPhone X earlier this month, with the highest price tag yet — almost US$1,000. So many superlatives. It certainly sounds like peak “something.”

We might look back at this moment as when economic power began to shift elsewhere. The San Jose metro area’s economic data is already beginning to show that…

While wage growth in the region remains strong, and unemployment hovers at a low level of 3.5 percent, the labor force has begun to shrink, indicating that one of the strongest labor markets in the US is no longer bringing people in…(more)

Let us hope that the thousands of layoffs at giants Yahoo, Oracle and HP can find jobs in the new campuses of Facebook and Apple so the labor market, construction starts and rents stabilize soon. Silicon Valley needs to keep a balanced economy and that means preserving our legacy businesses and that means no more gentrification of neighborhoods.

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