SFCED | San Francisco Center for Economic Development


The Job Gold Rush in San Francisco: Can it be replicated elsewhere?

Comstock’s magazine in Sacramento reports this week on the Sacramento-based construction businesses that are flocking to projects in the Bay Area, especially San Francisco. This report continues a long line of articles over the past few months on  San Francisco’s white-hot economy and job market. The local unemployment rate is down to 5.2%, building cranes are crowding the skyline, and major tech firms, such as Salesforce, Twitter, and Autodesk, are showing hundreds of job openings on their websites on any given day.

As we begin 2014, it is timely to ask: How much of this job gold rush is due to government actions?  Can it be replicated elsewhere? What is its relevance to California’s workforce community?

Like nearly all economic growth, this boom has been driven by forces outside of government. It has been distributed among sectors (business services, finance, hospitality), but driven by one sector: the internet commerce/social media industry. San Francisco has become the epicenter nationally of this industry, due to a coming together of factors, outside of government. These start with the presence of industry leaders, such as the technology firms noted above,early leaders in online gaming  (Zynga), and early leaders in the share economy (AirBnB, Uber).

Further, San Francisco has benefited from being  a highly desirable location for younger workers, who constitute the majority of entrepreneurs and programmers in this industry. As the industry grew, other internet commerce/social media entrepreneurs initially located in Palo Alto and even other locations nationwide, moved their companies to San Francisco. They sought  to take advantage of the programming and entrepreneurial talent and  synergies.

Read more: PublicCEO.com The Job Gold Rush in San Francisco: Can It Be Replicated Elsewhere?