Yet another indication of a deflating Silicon Valley tech bubble: workers fleeing in droves. For the first time since 2011, more people left Silicon Valley for other U.S. locations in 2014 than moved in from other parts of the country, a new study said. More than 7,500 residents hightailed it out of the famed tech hub, the Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project found.
“While Silicon Valley continues to have a white-hot economy and high job growth, there are several warning signs,” the report said. “Skyrocketing housing prices and increasing traffic congestion are eroding our quality of life and causing many residents to relocate to other parts of the country.”
In 2014, heavy traffic added 67 hours annually to the average Silicon Valley commute, up 13.6 percent from 2010, according to the report. And the valley’s median home value jumped faster than in any other innovation region in the country, to $870,000 in 2015.
The region’s innovation-industries output rose 13 percent between 2013 and 2014, and jobs increased 7 percent, the report said.
On the whole, Silicon Valley gained residents, with almost 30,000 people from abroad moving in during 2014, according to the report.
More recent information shows further evidence of un-bubbling, and suggests a gloomier jobs picture. Mutual funds are “cutting the value of their startup investments at an accelerating pace and are making fewer new investments,” the Wall Street Journal reported. The paper noted that the earlier “flood of money” into wet-behind-the-ears companies had paid for hiring sprees. A number of Silicon Valley companies have announced layoffs in the past few weeks, with Yahoo cutting hundreds of jobs in the area, and SurveyMonkey, a Palo Alto company that sells a cloud-based polling service, laying off about 100 people.
Photo: Silicon Valley (Wikimedia Commons photo)