From: Reuters / Information Week —

California’s Silicon Valley — the high tech enclave south of San Francisco — has long been seen as both a symbolic and a functional bellweather of the technology sector.

Now, the weakening global economy has caught up with the icon and economists say that development bodes ill for the entire tech industry.

As Reuters’ Gabriel Madway reports, in Information Week, “After the tech bubble burst, Santa Clara County [home of Silicon Valley] alone lost more than 200,000 jobs, 20 percent of its job base. The county’s annual unemployment rate hit 8.4 percent in 2002. … But the tech sector has matured a great deal since then, some say, perhaps leaving it less vulnerable to such a shock.”

Nevertheless, industry observers note that Silicon Valley alone lost more than 140,000 jobs in the first ten months of this year, up more than 30 per cent from figures for all of 2007. Even so, the official unemployment rate for the area of remains below that of California as a whole.

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