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Tech Growth To Surge 15 Percent in Silicon Valley

Report shows growth in tech sector will far outpace the rest of the economy.

Silicon Valley's tech industry is emerging from recession and heading for a 15 percent growth in jobs over the next two years, according to an economic development study of Silicon Valley released today.

The study, conducted over a period of eight months and based on 250 employer surveys and more than 50 executive interviews, was released a day after Cisco announced the company is eliminating 6,500 of its jobs.

Stephen Levy, director of the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy and an author of the study, said it is unclear what implications that decision will have on growth prospects.

He said the move indicates that Silicon Valley is in a constant state of flux.

"Cisco has had a very strong rise in employment over the last 10 years, so this has to be put in context," Levy said. "There are always going to be companies that for some reason or another shrink."

The study suggests the industry is shifting from hardware-oriented sectors to the Internet, applications and social networking.

Since December 2009, tech companies have added 13,000 jobs with expansions planned for Google, Facebook and Skype, Levy said.

The sponsoring workforce boards for the study included NOVA, based in Sunnyvale, and Work2Future in San Jose and San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties.

The report, titled "Silicon Valley in Transition: Economic and Workforce Implications in the Age of iPads, Android Apps and the Social Web," can be found here.

Bay City News Service

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