The long-term outlook for the San Jose metro economy appears positive. The flow of venture capital into the region has increased since the end of the recession. This will aid the San Jose GMP growth rate to exceed that of the national GDP in 2014. The Silicon Valley, the world’s premier high technology hub, was fueled by venture capital funds received in the 1990s. Today, there are 13 Fortune 500 companies with headquarters in San Jose. These include Intel, Cisco Systems, Apple Inc., Facebook and Google Inc. As the economy gains strength, technology companies are beginning to hire once again. Employment growth in San Jose is will outpace U.S. growth over the next five years.
The number of businesses that support the high-tech industry has increased, driving professional and business services to become the largest local employment sector. The area's many colleges and universities support these companies by graduating thousands of engineering and computer science students into the local work force every year.
The Santa Clara Valley runs the entire length of Santa Clara County, flanked by the rolling hills of the Diablo Range on the east and the Santa Cruz Mountains on the west. Salt marshes and wetlands lie to the northwest, adjacent to the San Francisco Bay. A large portion of the county’s 1,315 square miles is unincorporated ranch and farmland.
The San Jose metro contains nearly 1.9 million inhabitants in 15 cities. Almost half of the county’s residents are located in San Jose. It is the MSA’s largest city with 936,000 residents, followed by Sunnyvale and Santa Clara. Santa Clara is projected to post annual growth of more than 2 percent through 2016.