Based on three studies published this week, while virtually every aspect of the U.S. economy has been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, the tech industry and its Silicon Valley hub in Santa Clara County continue to fare better than other large regions across California and the nation.
While Silicon Valley is thriving, non-tech industries are suffering, further widening the wealth gap with other sectors just 100 days into the pandemic.
California’s unemployment rate remained “stubbornly high” from April to May, at 16.3%, while figures in Silicon Valley improved slightly, according to data from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) late Thursday.
Tech’s resilience has extended to recent market capitalization with record highs seen for the stocks of Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., and Netflix Inc. Since most tech stocks bottomed out on March 23, they have generally out-performed publicly traded non-tech companies, according to an analysis by Rachel Solomon Massaro, Joint Venture’s director of research, for MarketWatch.
The technology sectors good fortune is also reflected in venture capital funding, where Silicon Valley far outpaces the rest of California and the nation, based on data from PitchBook exclusively for MarketWatch. Valley-based companies collected $7.9 billion in May, up 108% from $3.8 billion in April.
Then there’s everyone else.
While non-tech industries like retail continue to struggle in California, another 1.48 million people nationwide applied for unemployment for the first time last week, the 14th straight week more than 1 million workers have filed for jobless claims since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
MacDailyNews Take: Many Silicon Valley workers can work from home. Many people are not in such an amenable situation and cannot work from home, yet COVID-19 still exists, there is no vaccine, and it will be transmitted wherever transmission is possible.
Hence, we remain in a catch-22. We must have an economy and we’re in the midst of a pandemic. Both conditions will exist simultaneously until we have effective treatments and a vaccine, so try to be as safe as you can be – wash your hands frequently, keep your hands away from your face, wear a mask in public, practice social distancing, etc.
The CDC guidelines for how to protect yourself and others — especially older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes and are at higher risk for developing serious complications from COVID-19 — are here.