CAPPS - Avocacy and Communication Professional Development

California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools

Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Lodi? Tech jobs boom in Central Valley

05/15/2013

SILICON VALLEY BUSINESS JOURNAL.  MAY 14, 2013.  Silicon Valley is being outpaced in new online technology jobs by both Southern California and the Central Valley, but a new report says the industry job gains could help the economy for the entire state.

Based on an analysis of job ads in different regions of the state, tech jobs in the Bay Area (including Silicon Valley) increased 2.9 percent during the last year. In California's Central Valley, the increase was 11.8 percent, despite double-digit unemployment in several counties in the region.

The report was released Tuesday by the D.C.-based Progressive Policy Institute.

"The Central Valley is benefiting from a diverse mix of employers," wrote study author Michael Mandel, chief economist for the think tank. He singled out nearby universities looking for tech talent, plus area companies like Smart Hospitality Corporation, which provides entertainment systems for hotels, and mobile app password maker Keeper Security.

Developers in particular have an opening in the Central Valley, where there was a 40 percent increase in job ads for professionals in the field in the last year. The Bay Area saw a 1.6 percent increase in developer job ads.

Mandel found a bigger increase for the Bay Area in demand for media and communications professionals stemming from new online technology, with a 13.7 percent year-over-year increase. That's compared to 15.4 percent growth in the Central Valley and 34.2 percent in Southern California.

"We saw from the late 1990s that once the tech sector gets hot, it can exhaust the normal labor sources," Mandel wrote, adding that excess regulation in growing industries can hurt potential job gains. "California's Internet/tech growth can help the whole state."