The Bay Area economy, $722 billion strong, is faring well in the first decade-plus of the 21st century. Notwithstanding two significant recessions – in 2001-2002 and in 2007-2009 – the region boosted its economic output by 42 percent from 2001 to 2015. While a growing population explains some of this growth, the region’s economy has still grown by 28 percent when evaluated on a per capita basis. Since 2009, the low point of the recent downturn, the region has added $144 billion to its GRP, an average of nearly 4 percent growth each year.
It’s worth noting that the Bay Area’s impressive growth in output since 2001 has not been accompanied by a proportional growth in overall employment. The number of jobs in the region grew just 5 percent over this period, moving from 3.5 million in 2001 to 3.7 million in 2015. Much of the region’s economic growth can therefore be attributed to the presence of job growth in high-productivity industry sectors such as electronic component manufacturing, computer software design, and scientific research and development services.