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Silicon Valley Index Shows the Misery and Triumph of the World's Tech Capital

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Silicon Valley commute

The number of Silicon Valley "megacommuters," who spend three hours each day in transit, has increased to 6.5 percent.

There's good news and bad news from Silicon Valley. While the area is thriving economically, generating new technology and good jobs, it is at the same time becoming an even worse place to live.

"We're a massively dysfunctional region," says Russell Hancock, president and CEO of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a nonprofit whose 2019 Silicon Valley Index provides an annual assessment of the area.

"We've got the worst transportation in the nation. We've got the highest housing costs in the nation," Hancock says. "The irony is we invented the technology that created the problem."

Companies have difficulties attracting and retaining employees who blanch at the prospect of multimillion-dollar mortgages and soul-sucking commutes. For the third year in a row, more people left the area in 2018 than arrived, Hancock says. Facebook, Apple, and Google can compensate with high salaries, but that doesn't help the teachers, policemen, waiters, and others not on a tech-industry budget.

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