The Silicon Valley region is home to five of California’s top 10 job markets heading into 2014, according to a new analysis using federal data
- by Lauren Hepler –
When it comes to the job hunt, pinpointing locations with low unemployment, high wages and good growth prospects is generally a solid place to start.
Using these metrics, San Francisco financial literacy startup NerdWallet has identified the five most promising Bay Area and Silicon Valley cities for job-seekers. While it’s no surprise that tech-heavy, affluent Peninsula cities make the list, the East Bay also holds it own.
Overall, the region is home to five of the 10 best markets in the state of California for job hunters:
1. San Ramon
The East Bay city had a 3 percent unemployment rate when tallied in 2011 — the second-lowest in the state — along with a median income of more than $124,000 per year. On one darker note, the city well-known as the corporate headquarters of Chevron has also seen the oil titan move hundreds of jobs to low-tax Texas in recent years.
More than 75 percent of residents in the hometown of Apple Inc. are employed intech, science, business or management. Look for that number to grow in 2016, when Apple opens its 2.8 billion “spaceship” campus.
4. Palo Alto
Almost 80 percent of local residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, which is relatively unsurprising given the proximity to Stanford University. Median income is around $122,500, but the catch here is with cost of living — the federal government last pegged Palo Alto’s median home value at more than $1 million.
Two BART stations, major employers like Oracle and Kaiser Permanente and a lower cost of living than other areas of the state, Pleasanton is one Peninsula alternative. The city’s unemployment rate was also 3.7 percent when reported in 2011.
Employers like Tesla and Seagate have helped Fremont grow in recent years. The city is the fourth-largest in the Bay Area, and BART is slated to open in 2015. However, potential homebuyers should be ready to find their digs on the fly; the average Fremont home is currently only on the market for about 25 days.
NerdWallet analysts crunched employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, homeowner costs and demographic data on wages and population growth. It is worth noting that Silicon Valley also has an increasingly pricey rental market for housing, though that data was not included in the report.