Silicon Valley’s economic “paradox” gets airing at conference

SAN JOSE — The good, bad, and ugly of Silicon Valley’s dynamic economy came into scrutiny on Friday in San Jose at a conference that examined the region’s job boom, housing crisis and traffic mess.

“The paradox of our prosperity is we are the envy of the nation in our economic growth and job creation,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said during an interview with this news organization after he delivered opening remarks at the annual State of the Valley Conference organized by Joint Venture Silicon Valley. Officials formally released the Silicon Valley Index for 2018, an annual report card on the region’s economy.

Yet while job growth is robust, with employment gains for seven straight years, housing and transportation have lagged far behind the economic surge in the Santa Clara Valley and much of the rest of the Bay Area.

“At the same time we have this boom, thousands of families are struggling to survive in a Valley with rapidly rising rents and housing costs,” Mayor Liccardo said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do to tackle this paradox of prosperity.”

Case in point: In 2017, Silicon Valley — defined as Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, southern Alameda County and northern Santa Cruz County — added 47,000 jobs. Yet at the same time, just 12,000 residential units were built, although that was double the 6,000 housing units added in 2016.

“We’ve gotten to the point where we have a disaster on our hands,” said Carol Galante, director of UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation. “We are not building enough housing and we are not building the housing in the right places.”

Somehow, existing and future residents of a neighborhood must be coaxed into allowing a greater pace and density of residences near where they live, Galante urged during a panel discussion about …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business

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