Is the Bay Area slipping off its peak as a destination for economic prosperity and innovation?
Absolutely, the new report suggests.
According to the Milken Institute, San Jose and San Francisco have set foot on up-and-coming high-tech hubs in the west and south. Milken reports that Covid’s pandemic has stagnated short-term job growth in the region, and high housing costs are a drag on attracting new professionals.
Researchers also saw Auckland’s economy weakened by similar Silicon Valley predicaments and a slowdown in international trade damaging ports.
“Housing costs are a real issue,” said Kevin Clauden of the Milken Institute, based in Los Angeles. “Affordability has reached its limit.”
This analysis adds fuel to concerns about the region’s growing housing shortages and suggests that as technology hubs expand in low-cost cities, competitive challenges come first. Provo, Utah and Salt Lake City, along with other cities popular with Bay Area refugees, Denver, Seattle, Boise and Austin, Texas, have risen to the top of the Milken rankings.
The Best Performance Cities Report, first published in 1999, considers employment and wage growth, and the size of the innovation economy. “High-tech jobs and knowledge jobs not only pay more, but are more stable in this economy,” said Clauden, executive director of the regional economic center of think tanks.
This year, researchers first considered housing costs and broadband access. Clauden said the two new indicators are important in measuring how successful a region is in attracting and retaining professionals. “We’re trying to figure out if the metro has the ability to grow,” he said. Affordability of housing is a major hurdle for most California metro residents, he said.
During the pandemic, technicians and other professionals migrated from the area, choosing to work remotely in cheaper cities and finding more space outside the city centre. Rent for a two-bedroom apartment fell 23% during a pandemic in San Francisco and 10% in San Jose. However, existing Bay Area home prices have skyrocketed to record levels, reaching $ 935,000 in December.
Pandemics and restrictive immigration policies have also curbed the traditional influx of foreign professionals working in the technology industry. Foreign entrepreneurs are less likely to move to the Bay Area to seek funding or talent. “It had an impact,” Klowden said.
Affordability of homes is a major concern in the business world. Low-income residents working in the service industry and other jobs closed by the pandemic are struggling to cover their housing costs. The joint venture Silicon Valley estimates that by the end of 2020, approximately 200,000 Bay Area residents were at risk of not taking out rent or mortgages.
Jeff Verisario, executive director of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, said remotework could change the equations of many Bay Area companies looking to expand. Low-cost areas can become more attractive if companies believe they can maintain culture and productivity.
“Remotework is a wildcard — what happens?” He said.
Technology giants Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Oracle announced last year that they would relocate their headquarters to Texas. Other parts of the business may follow.
Population growth is stagnant in the Bay Area, raising questions about what happens to offices and working conditions if the pandemic is well managed. “If you can work anywhere, you can live anywhere,” Bellisario said.
According to a Milken study, Brigham Young University’s hometown of Provometro is home to tech companies such as Qualtrics, Vivint and SmartCitizen. Other cities with strong growth in the technology sector include Raleigh, which is part of the North Carolina University Research Triangle, Melbourne, Florida, south of Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida, and small cities across Utah and Idaho. There is a city.
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