Sunday, March 18, 2012

Are we feeling the regional economic lift in Pacifica?

San Francisco Chronicle, Business Report with Bloomberg/Carolyn Said, 3/18/12. "San Francisco Bay Area economy thriving despite challenges." 

"A report being released today on the $535 billion Bay Area economy - 19th largest in the world - shows the region thriving as a business center even while issues of infrastructure, regulation and education dog it, and an uneven recovery leaves many people unemployed.

"A rising tide lifts all boats" (John F. Kennedy, 1963)

"In spite of persistent and underlying challenges that it has yet to address, the Bay Area economy continues to display a remarkable resilience and innovativeness," wrote McKinsey & Co., authors of the biennial report prepared for the Bay Area Council, a business-sponsored public-policy advocacy group. "The region continues to reinvent itself and sustain its productivity, innovation and business advantage."  The area bounced back from the recession and downturn thanks to its leading sector, technology, the report said. In fact, tech companies - including information, manufacturing and professional/scientific services - which account for 30 percent of the regional economy, fueled all of the area's growth since 2005, the report said.

Productivity among the region's businesses, excluding financial services, averaged annual growth of 2.8 percent since 2005, outpacing comparable metro areas. But that came at the cost of jobs. Productivity gains "are coming from reduced employment more than increased output," the report said. Overall the Bay Area has about the same number of jobs today as it had in 1996. "We haven't grown - and that's scary," said Jim Wunderman, CEO of the Bay Area Council. The group advocates business-government partnerships, sharing of county services, streamlining regulation and taxes, and investing more in infrastructure and education. "The Bay Area needs to be seen as a place where investments can safely be made, workforce can be grown, and jobs can be produced so we can maintain our rightful place as a leading economy," he said....

....Major companies: The Bay Area is home to 30 Fortune 500 companies, second only to New York, and 26 companies in the Inc. 500 fastest-growing private companies list, the most of any region. It also has 10 firms in the Fortune Global 500, making it sixth in the world. Leading Asian firms, such as Samsung, have their U.S. headquarters in the Bay Area."   Read more, 2 pages beginning with "Rising tide".

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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