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San Jose Economy
 
 
 

The large concentration of high-technology engineering, computer, and microprocessor companies around San Jose has led the area to be known as Silicon Valley. As the largest city in the valley, San Jose has billed itself "the capital of Silicon Valley". Area schools such as the University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Santa Cruz, San José State University, San Francisco State University, California State University, East Bay, Santa Clara University, and Stanford University pump thousands of engineering and computer science graduates into the local economy every year.

High economic growth during the tech bubble caused employment, housing prices, and traffic congestion to peak in the late 1990s. As the economy slowed in the early 2000s, employment and traffic congestion diminished somewhat. In the mid-2000s, traffic along major highways again began to worsen as the economy improved. San Jose had 405,000 jobs within its city limits in 2006, and an unemployment rate of 4.6%. In 2000, San Jose residents had the highest median household income of any city with a population over 300,000, and currently has the highest median income of any city with over 280,000 people.

San Jose lists 25 companies with 1,000 employees or more, including the headquarters of Adobe Systems, BEA Systems, Cisco, SunPower and eBay, as well as major facilities for Flextronics, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Hitachi and Lockheed Martin. Sizable government employers include the city government, Santa Clara County, and San José State University.

The cost of living in San Jose and the surrounding areas is among the highest in California and the nation. Housing costs are the primary reason for the high cost of living, although the costs in all areas tracked by ACCRA are above the national average. Despite the high cost of living in San Jose, households in city limits have the highest disposable income of any city in the US with over 500,000 residents.

San Jose residents produce more US patents than any other city. 35% of all venture capital funds in the US are invested in San Jose and Silicon Valley companies.

Nearly half of the traffic at San Jose International Airport is business related, which makes the facility an important factor in the Silicon Valley economy. Revenues from freight shipments average more than $10 million annually; cargo handled at the airport in 2004 exceeded 5 million pounds. Four air cargo carriers and several air freight services maintain facilities at the airport. Two major rail freight lines and a number of motor freight carriers also operate in the metropolitan area.

 

 
 

 



 


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