This year's Index reports a deceleration in job losses, employment gains in some high-wage occupational clusters, and continued growth in regional productivity. Employment is robust in the health services industry and the biomedical industry cluster is becoming more concentrated in Silicon Valley as its employment grows relative to the nation.
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We may now be seeing the early signs of yet another Silicon Valley reinvention, and there are some beneﬁts to our economic slowdown: our freeways are less congested and apartment rental rates are dropping. Our development patterns are producing less rather than more sprawl. The 2004 Index of Silicon Valley documents these and other signiﬁcant changes, as well as the continuing challenges facing our region.
While working our way out of our recent downturn through economic restructuring, we must also keep working towards the Silicon Valley 2010 Vision. Developed ﬁve years ago by more than 2,000 community members, this document laid out four areas—Innovative Economy, Livable Environment, Inclusive Society, and Regional Stewardship— that remain important goals for Silicon Valley. Using a variety of regional indicators, the Index helps us understand where we are moving forward and where we are losing ground relative to this Vision. It also stimulates important dialogue about the meaning of key changes and trends. And, as always, the Index will continue to be a resource to people who want to work together to make Silicon Valley a better place.
We are pleased this year to present a special analysis that examines the unique and changing occupational structure of our Valley. The analysis describes how we compare to the nation and what makes Silicon Valley’s occupational structure unique. It provides a picture of where jobs are today and raises important implica tions about how we prepare our workforce for the jobs of the future.
Just as last year’s Index of Silicon Valley was the catalyst that brought together the region’s leaders around the Next Silicon Valley Initiative, we hope you ﬁnd this document a powerful tool in your efforts to move our region forward. We welcome your comments and participation in building the next Silicon Valley.