SAN JOSE (KCBS) – A just completed national study ranks Silicon Valley first when it comes to economic growth.

The report from the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research shows earnings growth in the manufacturing sector in Silicon Valley is up almost 30 percent.

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“Silicon Valley’s strength, which they have to keep building on, is that they attract so many people with advanced skills, advanced education, engineering skills at the PhD and doctoral level,” said report co-author Tom Gray. “They are very good at that. But if they start losing that, then they might have trouble.”

San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce President Matthew Mahood said that’s why they can’t rest on their laurels.

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“We still need job growth – the middle class jobs, the advanced manufacturing jobs, many of those went away,” Mahood said. “So we need to figure out how we continue to ensure jobs and continue to identify our niche in the Silicon Valley for middle class jobs, and what are those driving industries where those jobs can be created.”

Job growth in the region was led by the professional and business services industry, up 12 percent. Overall job growth has dropped the unemployment rate in Silicon Valley to just over 5 percent.

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The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metropolitan statistical area [MSA] ranks 17th in the study.