Silicon Valley Unemployed Turn From Tech

With jobs in short supply, many shift to health care, energy
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 31, 2009 8:45 AM CDT
Computer chips are seen on display at Micro Center in Santa Clara, Calif., Wednesday, May 13, 2009.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – After holding its own against the economic tide, the tech industry is hurting—and many jobless in Silicon Valley are heading to other sectors, the Wall Street Journal reports. One group that helps job-seekers grew to capacity this year, from 180 to 225 members, with 450 on the waiting list; some 80% of members worked in tech, and a third of them are looking for work outside the industry, says a group leader.

Silicon Valley’s jobless rate was below California’s average last year, sticking close to the national average. In June, however, it surged to 11.8%, compared to California’s rate of 11.6% and a national rate of 9.7%. Clean energy and health care are popular destinations for the job-seekers. “I'm looking at this as an opportunity to look at other fields,” says a laid-off worker.