Hiding in the noise

This week the Joint Venture Silicon Valley group reported that Silicon Valley Added Jobs in ’05. They cite this as evidence that the valley is finally improving after years of “jobless” recovery. Fine, but look closer. The “job growth” they trumpet amounted to only 2,000 jobs, in a market of 1.15 million employees. That’s an increase of 0.2 percent, an utterly insignificant difference. I’ll bet their employment survey has a much larger margin of error than that.

During the dot-com era, Silicon Valley gained 350,000 new jobs, only to lose 200,000 of them in the early 2000’s. “We’re a region that’s always been tied to boom-bust cycles,” Mr. Hancock said. “We’ve reinvented ourselves five or six times.”

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