Silicon Valley Spotlight 2018

Around the world, Silicon Valley is known as the engine of innovation and growth in the tech industry. What happens in Vegas may very well stay in Vegas, but that certainly isn’t the case here: innovations that start in the Bay Area lead to social change, business disruption, new economic opportunities and, of course, endless headlines in the media.  

And with a 2016 GDP of $781 billion (that’s larger than the economy of the Netherlands) and more than 14% of the nation’s total venture capital, the Bay Area is unquestionably the country’s primary tech hub.

But nothing stands still in this world, and least of all in Silicon Valley. In 2017 we saw some of the area’s leading tech disruptors being disrupted, with Uber naming a new CEO and the industry’s diversity problems coming to a head.

Meanwhile, the cost of living is so high that one Houston firm found it more cost-effective to regularly fly employees out to the area on a private jet rather than hire Silicon Valley based professionals.

With all these variables in play, 2018 should be an even more interesting year to watch. What’s in store? We examined Indeed’s data to identify the noteworthy jobs, trends and innovations for the year ahead. Here’s what we found.

Job growth is slowing down

So what about job growth? It turns out that job postings in Silicon Valley are down. In fact, between September of 2015 and September of 2017, there was an 18.14% decrease in the share of tech job postings on Indeed.

That said, this downward trend was much less dramatic in 2017 than in the previous year. Almost 16 percentage points of the decline occurred between September 2015 and September 2016, with the remaining 3 percentage points occurring between September 2016 and September 2017.

Recent research from Indeed shines some light on what could be fueling thisAccording to our data, Seattle is the big winner when it comes to tech job growth, with close to a 11% change in its share of the nation’s tech job postings between 2016 and 2017. The D.C. and Baltimore areas also had impressive rates of growth, with increases of about 3-5% each.

By contrast, San Jose’s share of tech job postings dropped by about 6%, while San Francisco’s fell by nearly 8%. But even with these decreases, the two areas still collectively account for about 30% of the nation’s tech job postings, and Silicon Valley remains an ideal location in the eyes of techs’ big players. Firms such as Apple, Google, Salesforce and Facebook have recently built new campuses or signed new leases.

With these industry leaders continuing to expand and invest in the area, tech professionals can feel confident that Silicon Valley will remain the top location for their skill sets for the foreseeable future—although job growth is something we’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on in 2018.

Show us the money

The most frequently cited culprit for the slowdown in job growth in Silicon Valley is the high cost of living. Some of the most colorful media reports feature tales of tech workers living in closets, garages or even a truck parked…

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