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Wage Disparity Threatens Silicon Valley

Tough times are hitting Silicon Valley, The San Francisco Chronicle reports, particularly as the rich get richer. "Working people in Silicon Valley are walking an economic tightrope, and any unexpected medical bill or even a car breakdown can push them over the edge," says Louise Auerhahn, author of a special report, "Life in the Valley Economy", which likens the area's economy to a barbell or an hourglass--lots of weight at the top and bottom, but very little in the middle.

"This report does an excellent job documenting what people outside the region have been slow to understand - that Silicon Valley is a fairly brutal environment," Joint Venture President Russell Hancock told the Chronicle. "Our performance on the global stage doesn't necessarily translate into regional prosperity, the kind that is widely shared. So you get this troubling picture where our companies are thriving but the region feels worse off."

Indeed, some say the increasing wage disparity is putting the region at risk. "The sustainability of the economy depends on people at all levels being able to live and work here," said Jim Wunderman, president of the Bay Area Council, a business-backed group representing almost 300 of the region's private sector employers.

Read the whole story at The San Francisco Chronicle »

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