Big Tech is swallowing the rest of Silicon Valley

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Silicon Valley’s deepening descent into wealth inequality is particularly marked when big tech is compared to San Francisco Bay Area small businesses.Consider: While Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, -0.81 % GOOG, -0.76% is being built at a breakneck pace: Google parent company plans an 80-acre mixed-use campus in downtown San Jose that will house 25,000 employees, and the service industry in the valley is in ruins. Jobs in that sector fell 41% in 2020 amid a wave of closures and reduced operations at restaurants, beauty salons and family-friendly stores, while Big Tech added tech jobs.

“I feel like a survivor of a plane crash, but with regret and regret,” Victor Escobedo, owner of two Mexican restaurants, a food truck and a salsa company in the San Francisco Bay Area, told MarketWatch. “I consider myself one of the lucky ones because I optimized operations in 2018-20 to better handle deliveries.” “We do not consider our business better than others; We are a neighborhood restaurant that feeds people who cannot leave the house, ”Escobedo said. “Again, we are one of the lucky ones.” The gulf between the top 15 tech employers in Silicon Valley and their smaller peers is equally stark. The anointed group: Apple Inc. AAPL, + 0.12%, Google, Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO, -1.42%, Tesla Inc. TSLA, -0.77%, Facebook Inc. FB, -2.91% , Intel Corp. INTC, +2.27%, Gilead Sciences Inc. GILD, -1.32% Oracle Corp. ORCL, -1.51%, Lockheed Martin Corp. LMT, -0.74%, Nvidia Corp. NVDA , + 0.66%, LinkedIn and parent company, Microsoft Corp. MSFT, – 1.16%, Amazon, Salesforce.com Inc. CRM, -0.18% and Uber Technologies Inc. UBER, -1.03% – had sales of approximately $ 1.35 trillion in 2020, which would collectively give them the 15th highest gross domestic product in the world, between Spain and Mexico. “Will Silicon Valley remain Silicon Valley? It depends on your perspective, ”Rachel Massaro, research director at the Joint Venture Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies, told MarketWatch. “What the data shows us is that we continue to grow the tech workforce, especially among the top 15 tech employers. The magnitude of that growth is huge compared to anywhere else. ”The disparity, based on key economic indicators compiled by the 2021 Silicon Valley Index, is compelling, indicating that the concentration of corporate power in the region is based on Increasingly at fewer companies Jobs Tech jobs grew in 2020 even as the pandemic devastated much of the region. Economy. Silicon Valley’s workforce share of tech grew from 26% in mid-2019 to 30% a mid-2020. At the same time, participation in infrastructure and community services fell from 50% in 2019 to 46% in 2020. Of the 619,000 technology jobs in Silicon Valley and San Francisco, 38% are employed in one of the 15 largest technology companies in the region. Google and Apple employ the largest stocks, about 7% each, followed by Facebook (4%), as well as Cisco, Amazon AMZN, -2.35% and Oracle (3% each). Jobs in hardware, software, Internet and information services and biotechnology remained 47% higher in mid-2020 (more than 147,000 jobs) than the low of the Great Recession in 2010. Meanwhile, the loss of jobs related to the pandemic was a major blow to infrastructure jobs and community services (down 15% between mid-2019 and mid-2020), especially personal services such as beauty salons, nail salons and cleaning services in dry (-54%), and accommodation and food services (-41%). Small Business Diaries: Read about how a Bay Area bar and San Francisco corset maker are weathering the pandemic Transportation, and outsourced workers in particular, suffered the biggest job impact, led by 6,700 at Uber (which represent 25% of the company’s workforce) and nearly 1,000 of Lyft Inc. LYFT, + 3.26% as consumers stopped using transportation services. Consumer industry technology companies accounted for the second highest proportion of layoffs during the Bay Area pandemic period, with the largest losses at Yelp Inc. YELP, + 3.26% (1,000 employees), Juul Labs (900) and Eventbrite Inc. EB, + 7.15% (500). Few workers will return to their jobs until the middle of the year, when most Americans are vaccinated, according to a paper on the medium-term outlook for the valley by Steve Levy, senior economist at the Center for the Continuing Study of the Economics of California in Palo Alto, California. “The shutdown of most of the in-person economic activity in the spring of 2020 led to a dramatic rise in unemployment, especially in hard hit industries such as leisure, hospitality and personal services,” said Sarah Bohn, vice president of research at the California Institute of Public Policy. (PPIC) said in a report issued in December. “Nine months later, the job market has improved a bit, but it is still precarious, and low-income workers are hit the hardest.” Offices The footprint of major tech companies increased despite construction delays related to the pandemic. More new commercial spaces were being built than ever (21 million square feet) and another 14 million square feet are in the pipeline. Just six large tech companies (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn and Netflix Inc.NFLX, -1.46%) occupy a combined 19% of all available office / research and development space in Santa Clara County , Menlo Park and Fremont, gobbling up to 48.5 million square feet. Google occupies the largest share, with about 22.1 million square feet in 2020. Major construction projects underway in late 2020 included large user and owner developments such as Adobe Inc.’s ADBE, -1.89% North Tower in downtown San José, 1.1 million from Google. Square foot office project in Mountain View, Nvidia’s 755,000 square foot Flex / R&D building in Santa Clara and Fortinet Inc.’s FTNT, + 2.53% of the Sunnyvale headquarters. Despite pandemic-related delays, nearly 5 million square feet of new retail space was delivered to the Silicon Valley market in 2020, more than a third of which was for technology. While tech workers have fled the expensive San Francisco Bay Area to the outlying suburbs of Northern and Southern California, the ability to work from home has allowed them to stay in the field and visit their employers’ headquarters in the valley. at will, tech recruiter Andy Price told MarketWatch. Opinion: Some tech workers are leaving San Francisco. Not to be missed The Joint Venture report did not disclose data on the use of real estate space for small businesses. While past recessions have exacerbated income inequality in California, the effects of the pandemic are concentrated among low-income workers, African Americans, Latinos and women, PPIC’s Bohn told MarketWatch. The current crisis, he says, threatens to “reinforce existing inequalities and deepen the old economic division of the state.”