Last week brought word that Silicon Valley venture capitalists were feeling somewhat less gloomy about their industry's fate over the next 12 to 18 months. Not true for Silicon Valley CEOs, at least when it comes to employment in the region. Seventy-four percent of CEOs surveyed by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group expect the "employment picture" in their industry to worsen this year, up from 18 percent who felt the same way a year ago. Only 40 percent think their own companies will either grow their workforce or keep it the same size, down from 83 percent who said so in 2008
One possible reason the CEOs are so pessimistic: Their expectations for 2008 fell far short. Forty-two percent of respondents said they ended up having to cut jobs last year. Moving ahead, it appears as though job losses are accelerating in the region's tech sector. A San Jose Mercury News analysis out today shows that tech jobs accounted for 21 percent of all the jobs lost in the Valley during the first two months of the year, up from 13.6 percent since the recession officially began in December 2007. All of those job cuts are hitting the Valley's office market. The vacancy rate increased two percentage points over the last quarter to 18 percent, according to NAI/BT Commercial, above the national average of 15 percent.
By Joseph Tartakoff