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Silicon Valley finally recovers from dotcom bust

New industries supplement Apple, Google and HP

The birthplace of global technology giants including Apple, Google and HP is growing again, adding new jobs for the first time since the dot-com bust.

Employment in Silicon Valley grew by 33,000 jobs between the second quarter of 2005 and the second quarter of last year, according to a report released Saturday by Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network, a nonprofit group that represents businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area.

It was the first increase since 2001, when the Internet-fuelled technology boom collapsed.

"Last year we saw the first evidence the downturn was behind us. This year we see quite clearly that Silicon Valley has done it again - we’ve reinvented ourselves," said Russell Hancock, Joint Venture’s president and chief executive officer.

Investment in Silicon Valley, defined by the group as dozens of cities in a 1,500 square mile area around the bay, is also on the rise. Between the first quarter of 2005 and the third quarter of last year, venture capital investment into renewable energy and clean technology rose 173 percent to nearly $1bn, the group said.

People are also starting to move to the area again. Silicon Valley's population grew by 1.28 percent year-over-year in 2006, outpacing growth in California overall, and the first positive net migration for the area since 2000.

But not everything is going well for the area. New home buyers are having a harder time finding affordable middle class houses, juvenile crime is on the rise along with high school dropout rates, and health care issues have cropped up, the group notes.

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