I‚Äôve been looking through some recent reports to try and sleuth out the general economic level of malaise and I‚Äôm am happy to say that we are not yet feeling the pain in a serious way. The San Francisco Apartment Association magazine prints a nicely detailed economic overview by Mat Sheridan. The first chart shows us that the San Francisco employment rate is less that the state unemployment rate by a little less than half. At 4 to 5%, our jobless rate is painful, but not devastating. Our vacancy rates are still less than 5% and we are among the top rental markets in the country.
I have this theory…..San Francisco is host to huge commuter busses that stop in most areas of the city. They pick up workers from Google, Apple, EBAY, Genentech and other south bay companies. The commuters are picked up in central locations throughout the city and driven to work and back. This has brought huge numbers of well paid employees whose only alternative to living and in San Francisco and working in the south bay was to endure a hour plus commute or take Caltrans.
The bus alternative is a no cost convenient way to live in San Francisco and work in Silicon Valley. The net of this, (my theory) is that San Francisco and Silicon Valley are becoming economically interdependent and this has fueled our rental boom. The health of the tech industry is even more closely aligned to the economic health of San Francisco than ever before. The human typography of this city has been undeniably altered.
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