How tech’s business models concentrate wealth while shortchanging workers
20 years of data show that Silicon Valley’s business models exacerbate income inequality while enriching corporate shareholders, executives, and Wall Street:
- Over the past two decades, residents of Silicon Valley have increased their per capita economic output by 74% — yet for nearly nine out of ten jobs, employers are paying lower real wages now than in 1997.
- The share of middle- and high-wage jobs declined, while the proportion of workers in low-wage jobs increased by 9 percentage points.
- Much of this increased concentration of wealth can be traced to aspects of the business models adopted by the tech industry, which give outsized rewards to a few at the price of increasing financial insecurity for the vast majority of wage earners.
This report was produced in partnership with UC Santa Cruz Professor Chris Benner and the UCSC Everett Program for Technology and Social Change.