Silicon Valley Shines as Jobs Bounce Back
With the major U.S. indices boosted by Friday's better-than-expected jump in July payrolls, there was also good news for the country's technology epicenter in northern California.
Information released earlier this week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics highlights robust employment growth in California's southern San Francisco Bay area during June. With a 3.8% year-over-year rise in employment, the San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara area led a host of other U.S. metropolitan areas in job growth. The Houston, Sugarland and Baytown region in Texas enjoyed the second-most robust growth, increasing employment by 3.3%.
Labor officials based their analysis on the 37 U.S. metropolitan areas with average employment levels above 750,000 in 2011.
There are plenty of fast-growing companies in Silicon Valley, most notably Menlo Park-based Facebook(FB) , which recently reported its first quarterly results since its eventful IPO. Speaking during the conference call to discuss the results, Facebook CFO David Ebersman said the company had just under 4,000 employees at the end of the quarter, an increase of about 50% from the same period last year.
Mountain View-based Google(GOOG) , which, prior to Facebook, was the biggest U.S. tech IPO, ended the second quarter with 54,600 employees, up from 28,768 in the same period in 2011, although that was largely due to the acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Google itself added around 1,200 employees during the quarter.
Increasingly, Silicon Valley is reaping the benefits of broader U.S. economic trends. Jordan Levine, director of economic research at Beacon Economics, said in an interview that many businesses across the U.S. are opting to boost productivity via new software and computer hardware.