BAY AREA BUSINESS STRONG BUT WITH SERIOUS
Report finds Bay Area business strong but with serious needs
San Francisco Business Times
Date: Monday, March 19, 2012, 7:04am PDT
The Bay Area continues to be a center of innovation, venture capital, productivity and growth. But it could all come crashing down if many of the area’s deepening underlying problems are not addressed, according to a study released by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.
The study, conducted with Latest from The Business JournalsFollow this company , concluded that the Bay Area economy continues to display a remarkable resilience and innovativeness.
Among the study’s other findings:
- Information technology and high-end manufacturing have grown more quickly and productively than in the rest of the nation;
- The region’s universities and research institutions remain among the nation’s highest-ranked;
- Local venture capital deals continue to account for roughly one-sixth of the world’s total, and 40 percent of the national total; and
- The composition of the Bay Area’s top companies is diverse and balanced, spanning energy, networking, communications, consumer products, food and financial services.
But major problems face the region, the report found.
- Unemployment remains above the national average at more than 9 percent;
- The K-12 education system has seen mild test score improvements but ranks in the bottom five of states;
- California has cut nearly 40 percent of the University of California system’s funding since 2002;
- Infrastructure spending is not keeping pace with needs; and
- California’s business climate remains among the most challenging in the country.