Silicon Valley CEOs see improvement

April 16, 2010 6:53:55 PM PDT
There may be a bright spot in the Silicon Valley job market. A survey of 153 CEOs found that business is looking up, so much so that many of them plan to begin hiring again.

Unemployment in the San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale area is now at 12.3 percent, up slightly from last month. But Carl Guardino of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group says that South Bay companies could start hiring soon.

"By a three to one ratio, Silicon Valley CEOs say that within their industry clusters, they will be hiring in 2010," Guardino said.

This year's survey found that 58 percent of the CEOs anticipate new hiring. Last year, only 17 percent of the CEOs believed they would hire.

The survey also shows that a large part of the growth will hopefully be in the high-tech and bio-tech industries. And as the demand for products, services and technology from Valley corporations rises, the demand for new workers will follow.

But Janice Shriver of the state unemployment office in San Jose says the Silicon Valley has not seen much of that growth as yet; San Jose only gained 500 jobs last month.

"Computer and electronic products only accounted for 100 of those jobs," Shriver said.

But a tech rebound could be in the offing. Google, Intel and AMD have all posted large profits for the first quarter and some analysts believe that could mean even more jobs for the Silicon Valley and Bay Area.

Many employed and unemployed high-tech workers say that the new jobs will be in those companies that are content-driven and not manufacturing.

Trevor Bacolini has worked and followed the tech industry for 20 years. He says of the three tech giants only Google may have an effect on the local job market.

"I think they'll continue to expand, whereas the Intel, the AMD, the Hitachi Global Storage, they will continue to reduce business here and move to a more business-friendly state," Bacolini said.

At the unemployment office, Shriver is still optimistic.

"The outlook here is up and up and up because things have to get better," she said.


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