Regional Economy and Governance

The Bay Area economy has been the envy of the world for fifty years running. Our business leaders have revolutionized industries from semiconductors to personal computers to the internet to social media and in healthcare, biotechnology, environmental science and many other fields. Today’s challenge is to preserve the growth and resilience of our economy and to share our prosperity more broadly, particularly through the creation of more middle wage jobs. In order to ensure the Bay Area’s economic vitality and resilience despite increasing boom and bust cycles, public and private sector leaders must come together around pragmatic solutions to persistent issues and barriers to success.



Continuing Growth and Unparalleled Innovation

This report, the tenth in a series of Bay Area Economic Profile reports produced since 1997 by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute and McKinsey & Company, examines the region’s economy over the last decade, as it has emerged from the Great Recession to enter a new period of immense growth and innovation. As previous reports have done, it benchmarks the Bay Area’s performance against other knowledge-based economies to assess the region’s national and global competitiveness. It also examines the economic and policy challenges that continue to confront the region, even in a period of extraordinary growth, and looks to uncover the next wave of innovation and renewal.

Economic Development in the Bay Area

Regional agency planning functions in the Bay Area span the areas of transportation, land use, and the environment; however, there is no entity or official capacity that takes economic development into account for the entire region...

The Real Impact of Trade Agreements

Recent political debate and the anxiety it has fueled have created an unfortunate—and inaccurate—impression that trade agreements are destroying manufacturing and killing US jobs. A look at the facts reveals a more complex story and points to a different conclusion.

How will ‘Brexit’ Impact the Bay Area?

Institute Senior Director Sean Randolph offers initial analysis of the historic vote in Britain to exit the European Union and its impact on the Bay Area economically. The full implications of Britain’s decision to leave …


Promise and Perils of an Accelerated Economy

This report, the ninth in a series of Bay Area Economic Profile reports produced since 1997 by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute and McKinsey & Company, examines the region’s economy as it has emerged from the Great Recession to enter a new period of growth and innovation.

Micah Weinberg on Inside Silicon Valley with Russell Hancock

On Monday January 18, 2016, Institute President Micah Weinberg appeared as a guest speaker on Inside Silicon Valley, a radio program presented by Joint Venture Silicon Valley hosted by Russell Hancock. During the program — which …


A Roadmap for Economic Resilience

The purpose of the Regional Economic Strategy's Roadmap for Economic Resilience is to offer concrete actions for growing regional prosperity and a flexible framework for developing actions going forward. Its proposals are evergreen agents of economic resilience, strategies wise in both expansion and downtown, necessary to accelerate the former and dampen the latter. It is a recipe for a robust and enduring regional economy.

The 1099 Economy — Elusive, but Diverse and Growing

The recent growth of the segment of the labor force made up of contract workers — sometimes known as freelancers, gig-workers, supertemps, or 1099 workers (“1099” refers to the IRS Form 1099-MISC used by independent contractors) — was initially described as a tidal wave.

Trade in the Bay Area

Made for Trade

The revenues of Bay Area companies increasingly come from global markets, and the Bay Area economy is intricately linked with global trade and financial flows. The Bay Area is on the cutting edge of technology, innovation and finance, handling $25 billion in exports in 2013. As technology continues to increase as a percentage of global trade, the Bay Area is well positioned to export to expanding future and emerging markets, especially in Asia. A report commissioned by HSBC in 2014 looks at international trade activity in the Bay Area, with a particular focus on technology, China, and the internationalization of China’s currency.


A Regional Economic Assessment

This 2012 report was prepared at the request of the Joint Policy Committee of regional government agencies and leaders in the Bay Area’s business community. The analysis was framed with two principal objectives: to comprehensively assess what is driving the regional economy from the perspective of competitiveness, growth, and jobs, and to identify impediments to stronger growth and job creation.