So Apple built a $5 billion facility in Silicon Valley. Does that mean Silicon Valley is heading for a second golden age? However, this is not the case. In fact, I have to ask: Is Silicon Valley dying?
I know that sounds strange, and even disrespectful. Everyone who is in IT service owes a huge debt to Silicon Valley, right? That’s true, but those days could be numbering? I ask this because San Jose’s economy had it’s worst August since the Great Recession. So far in 2017, the Silicon Valley area economy didn’t grow. Unemployment remains at a low 3.5 percent. However, people are leaving Silicon Valley, which means the labor force is leaving.
Not only are workers leaving, whole companies are either leaving or building franchises elsewhere. For example, don’t expect Amazon’s second headquarters to be in Silicon Valley. Here are some cities that came up: Pittsburgh, Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle. Notice San Jose isn’t even in this conversation. Probably because many workers won’t be there. Charts show the labor force is the lowest it’s been in almost 10 years. It’s not the tech companies. The Apple’s, Amazon’s, and Facebook’s are in a golden age. So maybe it’s the location that’s the problem. Is Silicon Valley dying?
Let’s look at why Silicon Valley may be dying. First of all, the cost of living is ridiculous! People who make six-digit figures struggle to make ends meet. It’s not just rent, either. I read stories where a cup of coffee cost $8.00. How would you like to pay eight dollars for a cup of coffee? Me either. Also, Silicon Valley isn’t the only candy store in town. Seattle is a tech boom town. So is Boston/Cambridge, Raliegh/Durham, NC, and Austin, TX. If you wanted to be a tech billionaire or king, you had to go to Silicon Valley. Not so much anymore. Don’t even get me started on the political tensions between Washington and Silicon Valley. How is anybody going to get any work done when both sides are trying to tell them how to think? Would you work in Silicon Valley in 2017?