Silicon Valley

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Working in Silicon Valley

The Silicon Valley economy is largely supported by the technology industry - hence its name - but there are also many other opportunities in teaching and service roles. This guide gives you an in-depth introduction to the local economy,taxation, and jobs and career paths in Silicon Valley.

Local Economy

Research by the Milken Institute found that the Santa Clara County was the highest performing region in the US during 2012 with a GDP of 176.6 billion USD. That puts it in line with the oil rich nation of Qatar and equates to the average person contributing 94,587 USD.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics census revealed that more than 700,600 people were employed in community infrastructure and services roles (such as local government and teaching), over 344,200 worked in innovation and information products (technology), 231,600+ in business services, and 54,622 in manufacturing.

While public service positions are more commonplace, technology is the real driving force behind the economy of region. There are over 1,000 high tech firms headquartered in Silicon Valley including Fortune 1000-listed giants such as Apple, Adobe Systems, Cisco, Electronic Arts (EA), Facebook, Google, Intel, Netflix and Yahoo!

Job Hunting in Silicon Valley

With so many large businesses located in such a small area, job opportunities are usually plentiful providing you have the correct education and experience. As with looking for work in any part of the world, finding the perfect role is all down to research.

Local newspapers are a good place to start. The biggest print publication is the San Jose Mercury, which has a circulation of more than 500,000 each day and has regular job listings. Also worth checking out are the Palo Alto Daily Post, the East Bay Express and the Metro Silicon Valley.

Many listings can also be found online. The American Job Centre will have some listings, but dedicated sites such as Indeed.com, SiliconValleyCareers and Monster.com will likely provide more search results.

Income Taxation in Silicon Valley

When working in Silicon Valley, it is important to remember that you will be party to two levels of income tax – one state, the other federal.

The state of California has a number of taxation brackets ranging from 1% to 13.3% depending on income levels. For 2014/15, these stand at:

  • 1-7,582 USD – 1%
  • 7,583-17,976 USD – 2%
  • 17,977-28,371 USD – 4%
  • 28,372-39,384 USD – 6%
  • 39,385-49,774 USD – 8%
  • 49,775-254,250 USD – 9.3%
  • 254,251-305,100 USD – 10.3%
  • 305,101-508,500 USD – 11.3%
  • 508,501-1,000,000 USD – 12.3%
  • Over 1,000,000 USD – 13.3%

Federal rates are as follows for single persons:

  • 1-9,225 USD – 10%
  • 9,226-37,450 USD – 15%
  • 37,451-90,750 USD – 25%
  • 90,751-189,300 USD – 28%
  • 189,301-411,500 USD – 33%
  • 411,501-413,200 USD – 35%
  • Over 413,200 USD – 39.6%

And somewhat different for married/joint partnerships or widowers:

  • 1-18,450 USD – 10%
  • 18,451-74,900 USD – 15%
  • 74,901-151,200 USD – 25%
  • 151,201-230,450 USD – 28%
  • 230,451-411,500 USD – 33%
  • 411,501-464,850 USD – 35%
  • Over 464,850 USD – 39.6%

Both taxes are deducted as source by the employer, while self-employed people are required to make an annual tax return.

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