Saturday, November 14, 2015

Saturday Stats: San Jose has the Most Future-Ready Economy in the Nation

At the 2015 Strategic Innovation Summit held by Harvard University and Dell, San Jose was proclaimed as the most future-ready economy in the country. Their definition of a future-ready economy is one that has sustainable economic output and growth potential. There are three key attributes that the study looked for:

1.) Human capital, or people equipped with the right skills to drive meaningful social and economic change.
2.) Commerce from sustainable business opportunities to continue improving entire economies for year to come. This includes collaboration, such as the formation of public-private partnerships.
3.) Infrastructure prepared to support people, businesses, and technology needed to drive growth and change.

San Jose scored well above average when it comes to human capital, having strong salaries, educational achievements, and by far the highest number of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) occupations per capita. San Jose also nailed it on commerce, having a collaborative and innovation-driven economy. Where we lost some big points was with infrastructure, particularly traffic congestion and poor public transit. Despite that, we still took the top position in the study with San Francisco coming in second and Washington DC in 3rd place.

Source: Dell, SJ Economy Newsletter

Top 25 Future Ready Economies

  1. San Jose, CA
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. Washington, DC
  4. Boston, MA
  5. Austin, TX
  6. Raleigh, NC
  7. Seattle, WA
  8. Denver, CO
  9. Portland, OR
  10. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
  11. New York, NY
  12. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
  13. Houston, TX
  14. Atlanta, GA
  15. Charlotte, NC
  16. San Diego, CA
  17. Chicago, IL
  18. Louisville, KY
  19. Salt Lake City, UT
  20. Des Moines, IA
  21. Los Angeles, CA
  22. Pittsburgh, PA
  23. Kansas City, MO
  24. Columbus, OH
  25. Philadelphia, PA


  1. How about housing for the people needed to support this future? SF and San Jose in particular are pricing out middle and lower economic classes. (Teachers, bus drivers.) Is housing considered in the infrastructure mentioned in key attribute number 3?

    1. Azar,

      There are still areas of lower prices in the Bay. Oakland and its surrounding areas are cheaper than SJ and SF. Even in SJ, you can go to east side San Jose or Gilroy and find much cheaper homes as well.

      SJ and SF are highly desirable cities, if you want to live here and don't have the crazy money, you have to make the sacrifice by getting into homes in less desirable neighborhoods, or have longer commutes. This is just how life is.

      And bus driver and teachers are bad examples to use. Bus drivers actually make pretty decent money in the Bay, and teachers too, what with their strong unions and all ;) They can't afford million-dollar mansion, but they can definitely afford small homes.

      The days of middle-class folks in the Bay Area with a boat, 2,000 sq ft homes and 8,000 sq ft lot is gone now. Get with it.

    2. I imagine San Jose will not be able to build as much housing as the entire Valley would need, and none of the other cities are willing to really build anything, so as long as the economy is booming prices will keep going up, I would argue that we do need more housing, but we are running into transportation infrastructure issues with were all the new office is being built being further north and east of where the housing is being built

    3. Hello John,

      Let's put our efforts towards addressing the topic itself, rather than personal attacks. Thanks!