The revival of Silicon Valley is on display at the juncture of San Jose’s North First Street and Highway 237, which for years was largely undeveloped. But this year, networking-technology firm Brocade Communications Systems Inc. moved into a new 525,000-square-foot corporate campus in the area as it hired 600 new employees, boosting its headcount to about 5,000. Retailer Target Corp. has opened a store a few doors down, and a hotel is set to open nearby next year.
“We grew in a tough time and added people in a really challenging environment,” said Mike Klayko, Chief Executive of Brocade, which increased revenue 7% to $2.1 billion in its fiscal year ended in late October. He added that Brocade currently has another 325 open jobs in Silicon Valley. “We’re interviewing all the time,” he said.
Silicon Valley is inching ahead of the rest of California, showing the best signs of life in the state’s still-ailing $1.9 trillion economy. Over the past six months, the unemployment rate in the technology-heavy Northern California region has eased more quickly than the rest of the state as local companies such as Brocade and Juniper Networks Inc. have ramped up hiring and expanded operations.
Economists say Silicon Valley’s revival is likely to have some spillover effects into other parts of the state’s economy. A decade ago during the late 1990s tech boom, Silicon Valley’s growth fueled a construction boom around the region and beyond as people moved to homes in the area to commute into the Valley.
…Indeed, the Silicon Valley area is already helping to spur the overall California economy. Since late 2009, the region has accounted for almost 12,000 of the 66,000 jobs–or about 18%—that California has added back, according to Beacon. The San Jose area is also one of two metro regions in California—the other being Orange County—that has recently shown sustained job growth, said Mr. Thornberg.