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I used to work at a fab in Fremont. It was one of several Silicon Valley fabs that are now no longer operating in the Valley. Its owner at the time, Agilent, cut eight to nine thousand jobs in the early 2000s:


Last year Agilent, which is still a big area employer, cut another 2700 people:


It is worth remembering that Silicon Valley's first name is "silicon" for a reason. The area made its name with hardware and fabs. The folks in the area who are fifty and sixty years old are proportionally more likely to have extensive experience in hardware and fabs than in web development, and many of the fabs are closing down. Moreover, because it took a lot of people to run a fab -- more in the past than today -- there are a lot of those people.

Yes, life here on HN is great, but that's because of the tiny sample size. For example, what is the total number of people who have been employed at any YC startup over the last decade? I bet it doesn't add up to eight thousand people.

So it depends on your skills. If you want a job running a lithography tool on a production line your job prospects are different than if you want a job writing Ruby apps for a YC startup.

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