SV Dichotomy

Four in ten Santa Clara County households are in economic distress, and not because people don't have jobs. That's the root finding of a study commissioned by work2future and released today.

In Silicon Valley Dichotomy, labor market consultants BW Research Partnership, Inc. write that almost 40 percent of households are, at best, one unexpected $500 bill away from having to seek assistance to meet the cost of basic needs in Santa Clara County—ironic in a region where the median income is about $102,000 and the unemployment rate in April 2017 hovered around 3.2 percent.

Although only about eight percent of households fall below federal poverty thresholds, about 30 percent don't meet the Self-Sufficiency Standard, which indicates the income needed to afford the cost of basic needs in the county without needing public or private assistance. An additional 10 percent estimate that they are one unexpected $500 bill away from falling into a similar situation.

BW Research also found that the certain populations in the county are much more likely to be in economic distress than the county as a whole. In particular, Latino immigrants, Vietnamese immigrants, Filipino immigrants and youth/young adults experience economic distress at significantly higher rate than four in ten.

For a copy of the report, go to

Silicon Valley Dichotomy