San Francisco is gateway city for immigrants and
Silicon Valley Technology
By Aldrich M. Tan
April 12, 2006
San Francisco may be on the cusp of a new economic period, powered
by immigration and a surge of emerging technology-related industries,
according to the latest results of the city's first economic performance
Representatives of ICF Consulting presented the results of the
review at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting.
Results revealed that San Francisco is indeed a city of immigrants,
director Ted Egan said. Over 60 percent of the city's immigrant
population come from Asia since 2004, with 28 percent alone coming
"We need to build on being a gateway city for immigrants,"
he said. "We're the first city that Asian immigrants stop
at when they come to America."
The review also revealed a racial disparity in income and education,
Egan said. Caucasians make up 53 percent of the city's wage earners
but have 2/3s of the city's managerial positions
Education is a key reason for the disparity, Egan said. Caucasians
make up the highest percentage of adults with college degrees,
with 63 percent having a bachelor degree or higher.
Language served as another barrier to high wage earning jobs
and the review reported that 46 percent of San Franciscans do
not speak English as a home language.
"There are indeed racial disproportionalities within the
occupational structure," he said.
Results also revealed that San Francisco's unemployment rate
is now below California levels at 5 percent, Egan said. New signs
of job growth are coming out of the city's technology sector.
The city has become a growing hub for technology industries as
core Silicon Valley companies are moving into the Bay Area, Egan
said. A growing number of core high technology workers choose
to reside in the city.
Traditional mainstay industries, such as financial and professional
services, have been declining since 1990, Egan said. Small business
franchises, companies with less than ten employees, and self-employed
firms now make up 85 percent of all the city establishments.
The consulting company is not ready to discuss strategic planning
yet, Egan said. It is preparing to have a public meeting in early
May where they will present the report.
The economic performance review will contribute to the city's
first economic development plan, pushed by the passage of Prop.
I in Nov. 2004. The consulting group started its research in January
The city's position as an international port for diverse immigration
and its growing technology sector will help the city succeed on
the global stage, Egan said.
"San Francisco has to rise to the challenge of succeeding
in the global economy," he said.
One can find the complete report on the city's Economic Strategy's
Web site at http://www.sfgov.org/site/economic_index.asp?id=37959.