Is the Silicon Valley Past its Peak?
Conor Sen argues a sure-to-be controversial point: that the Silicon Valley is fading, like the industrial societies of previous decades. The most conspicuous sign of this trend, according to Sen, is the construction of Apple's new headquarters. "The construction of large corporate headquarters and skyscrapers often turns out to be a sign of an economic peak," according to Sen. Apple was proceeded by the Empire State Building, Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower), and the Burj Khalifa.
But Apple's new $5 billion headquarters is the anecdote in Sen's analysis of the Silicon Valley economy.
While the technology industry is more powerful than ever and its largest companies continue to grow, the geography they call home increasingly looks tapped out. Employment in the San Jose metro area had its largest drop in August in seven years. It’s fallen in four of the eight months in 2017, and sits at a level not much higher than it reached at the peak of the dot-com boom almost 17 years ago.
Sen concludes by citing a prohibitively expensive housing market as central to the region's decline.