Tech jobs boost overall employment in San Francisco, study says 

click to enlarge A UC Berkeley study says for every job at a San Francisco tech company such as Twitter, left, five additional positions are created. - S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • S.F. Examiner file photo
  • A UC Berkeley study says for every job at a San Francisco tech company such as Twitter, left, five additional positions are created.

High-tech jobs in San Francisco are supporting 65 percent of the workers who are employed in local services, according to a report being released today.

The growth in technology jobs has been credited by some, including Mayor Ed Lee, for helping The City's economy recover faster than the rest of the state after the economic downturn. Others, however, decry the influx of high-earners, saying they are forcing out middle- and low-income residents.

The study on tech jobs' effect on San Francisco by UC Berkeley economics professor Enrico Moretti found that for each innovation job in San Francisco, there are five additional jobs created outside the innovation sector, two of which are professional positions and three of which are nonprofessional.

As an example, he states that if there are 900 employees at Twitter, there would be 1,800 professional jobs created and 2,700 nonprofessional.

"The most important impact of Twitter on SF labor market is outside high tech," says the study, which will be presented today at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce's annual forecast event.

Tech jobs, according to the report, contribute to overall job creation through factors such as the positions' elevated pay scales and the fact that such workers use more local services, along with the jobs being clustered in smaller areas of The City.

"High tech generates three times more service jobs than traditional manufacturing," the report says.

The total spending by the tech sector in San Francisco is supporting 65 percent of the workers employed in services here, according to the report.

Along with benefits to the economy come downsides. The report notes that a strong labor market can lead to increases in rents. The solution, according to the report, is to de-politicize the housing approval process and build more units.

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